Communism

A Love Story

Jeff Sparrow
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Communism
Communism

Published

1 February 2007

ISBN

9780522853476

Weight

303g

Size

199mm x 133mm

Imprint

Melbourne University Press

Communism

A Love Story

Jeff Sparrow
'What I remember most about the communists is their passion... 'For more than seventy years, idealists and rebels of all stripes saw in the Communist Party the best hope for a world remade. Who were the people who dedicated themselves to that beautiful dream? How did they experience its shimmering promise - and cope with its shattering collapse?This is the story of Guido Baracchi, the playboy and dilettante who experienced communism at its best - and its very worst. His love affair with Marxism took him from his father's astronomical observatory to the rough halls of the legendary Wobblies. He debated Bob Menzies at the University of Melbourne; he wooed novelist Katharine Susannah Prichard on a luxury ocean liner; he belonged to illegal organisations in two world wars. The Sun dubbed him 'Melbourne's Lenin', and ASIO classified him 'a person of bad moral character and violent and unstable
'What I remember most about the communists is their passion... 'For more than seventy years, idealists and rebels of all stripes saw in the Communist Party the best hope for a world remade. Who were the people who dedicated themselves to that beautiful dream? How did they experience its shimmering promise - and cope with its shattering collapse?This is the story of Guido Baracchi, the playboy and dilettante who experienced communism at its best - and its very worst. His love affair with Marxism took him from his father's astronomical observatory to the rough halls of the legendary Wobblies. He debated Bob Menzies at the University of Melbourne; he wooed novelist Katharine Susannah Prichard on a luxury ocean liner; he belonged to illegal organisations in two world wars. The Sun dubbed him 'Melbourne's Lenin', and ASIO classified him 'a person of bad moral character and violent and unstable political views'.From Weimar Germany to Stalin's Russia, from Melbourne's Pentridge gaol to the bohemian colony of Montsalvat, Baracchi entwined political intrigue with a series of tempestuous romances with poets, artists and playwrights. Yet communism remained his real love and communism broke his heart - in a betrayal that still resonates in the political choices available today.

About the author

Jeff Sparrow

Jeff Sparrow is the former editor of Overland literary journal, and works at Victoria University. He is the co-author, with sister Jill, of Radical Melbourne: A Secret History and Radical Melbourne 2: The Enemy Within, and the author of Communism: A Love Story (shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award) and Killing: Misadventures in Violence (a finalist in the Melbourne Prize for Literature Best Writing Award 2009).

About Jeff Sparrow

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