What did you say?
Valery Bryusov

“Why do you still look longing at the past / as if it were the dreamland thick with wonders?”

- Valery Bryusov
Jazz & the Left (& honesty)

Jazz & the Left (& honesty)

Posted on Jul 10, 2017 in Uncategorized

To be honest this summer has been a bit mad, which has meant that I’ve fallen behind on the usual monthly  “Conversations on Communism” podcasts. The last conversation Elinor Taylor of Westminster (as she is commonly known) and I recorded was back in April and it was released over May and June. Since then, alack, […]

George Thomson: A Revolutionary Hellenist

George Thomson: A Revolutionary Hellenist

Posted on Mar 13, 2017 in Uncategorized

Last month Elinor and I were fortunate enough to meet with and record a conversation with Richard Seaford and Ben Harker. It was our first “full-format” Conversations on Communism podcast, where we bring two specialists from different fields to talk together about a subject of mutual interest. Richard Seaford is Professor Emeritus of Classics and Ancient History at the University […]

A View from the Wild Surf

A View from the Wild Surf

Posted on Feb 1, 2017 in Uncategorized

Happy February! Last time we spoke I was on my way to meet Helen Lindsay (above), heritage consultant and daughter of the British poet Jack Lindsay (1900-1990). Well, that was back in December and today, you can listen to our podcast, fresh from the cutting room desk. Here it is. Or, I suppose, you could get the whole Conversations on Communism series directly to […]

Colin Chambers: Cultures of Communism

Colin Chambers: Cultures of Communism

Posted on Dec 5, 2016 in Uncategorized

Happy December! Tomorrow afternoon I’m meeting up with Helen Lindsay in Greenwich market. Helen is the daughter of the leftist poet and translator Jack Lindsay (1900-1990). One of the things we’ll be talking about is the invasive and ideologically motivated surveillance she feels her father was subject to over decades for his political beliefs and cultural activities […]

Conversations on Communism

Conversations on Communism

Posted on Nov 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

This winter I have teamed up with Dr. Elinor Taylor who teaches English Literature at the University of Westminster to create a podcast series exploring British communism. Elinor has submitted a PhD thesis and written a book on the Popular Front Novel in Britain (forthcoming), so she knows a lot more about the field than […]

and my story begins in Russia… #2

and my story begins in Russia… #2

Posted on Oct 21, 2016 in Uncategorized

On the ‘Red Arrow’ — a famous Soviet-period overnight train between St Petersburg and Moscow — I shared a cabin with a kindly man named Igor. His English vocabulary extended to the words ‘dog’ and ‘bed’, which got us only so far. The crowning moment of our communication came when he showed me a photo on his […]

And my story begins in Russia…

And my story begins in Russia…

Posted on Sep 15, 2016 in Uncategorized

I’ve just got back to London after a month in Russia. The picture above is the front of Finlandskiy Station, St. Petersburg, where in October 1917 Vladimir Lenin rolled in to begin the Revolution that rocked the world. For the first three weeks I lived just off the famous Nevskiy Prospekt, St. Petersburg, where I studied Russian for […]