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Arson, Rape and Bloody Murder Paperback – 1 Apr 2003

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David Aaronovitch, the award-winning columnist and broadcaster, recalls his growing up amidst the trials, triumphs and eccentricities of the Communist Party in Britain. To David Aaronvitch, childhood memories are more likely to involve collections for the Daily Worker Fighting Fund than donning the peculiar green garb of the cub scouts. For, amongst the leafy cul-de-sacs of North London Conservatism, David's family were active members of the Communist Party: people from an inverted world of solidarity meetings, demonstrations and bugged telephones. As far as they were concerned, parties meant not events where you had fun and were sick on the floor (spare the odd shocking tale of comrade swapping thrills) but a collective of comrades with a rich heritage of spying and underground treachery, memorable slogans and soap-box stands, and in young David's case, school petitions against uniform. "Arson, Rape and Bloody Murder" (from the song, "When the Red Revolution Comes") is an account of growing up in a land populated by miners, pickets, student revolutionaries haunted by the mushroom cloud, and elderly women on bric-a-brac stalls. It's a personal memoir and story of idealism and zealotry, faith and disillusion, and the very peculiar mix of Britishness and revolutionary fervour.

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