By Ralph Russell
about the book
This book continues the story of Ralph Russell's life from 1945 when he returned from the war in India, to 1958. It provides a fascinating introduction to a complex period of social and political change. Internationally, from a situation where Britain, the USA and the Soviet Union were war-time allies to the Cold War and McCarthyism. In Britain, a period of austerity and severe winters, a housing crisis, the nationalisation of coal, the creation of a National Health Service. In India, the early years of independence, land reform and peasant uprisings, tensions with Pakistan.
Through Ralph Russell's story we get a sense of what it must have been like for his generation of young men who had spent their formative years in the war with no chance of a personal life, then to be landed back in a place that was scarcely 'home' with everything to be decided. He draws us into his concerns and dilemmas - his disillusion with the leaders of the British Communist Party, his persistence in challenging them when they fell short of his ideals. His growing involvement in his work as a student and then university teacher of Urdu literature. His early loves, his warm and sometimes challenging friendships. And in them all, his determination to think through each issue life presents him.
An unusual and engaging book, from an unusual and engaging man.
Released: Winter 2007
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