The story of young middle class people who joined the British Communist Party (CPGB) in the 1930s has too often been seen through the distorting prism of cold war values.
This book presents a more balanced picture of their beliefs and actions, one in which these 1930s recruits emerge as intelligent and sensitive people, well aware of the implications of the decisions that they took in the highly stressful political circumstances of the times.
Hindsight shows that some of their judgments were wrong.
But their errors should not be allowed to devalue the genuine idealism that motivated them at the time - and subsequently.
This book draws on archives, family papers and personal memories, including individual case studies, which were presented at public lectures and seminars at Gresham College London in 2013 and 2014 (see www.gresham.ac.uk).