Growing Up Communist in the Netherlands and Britain
Growing Up Communist in the Netherlands and Britain
Childhood, Political Activism, and Identity Formation
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1 Introduction: Cradle Communists and Oral History

Part I

2 Under the Party’s Wing: Communist Youth Organisations 1920-1956
Foundation years

Class Against Class and Popular Front
The Spanish Civil War
The Second World War
Promising years: 1945-1948
Isolation: 1948-1956

3 Out of the Shadows: Communist Youth Organisations 1957-1968
The ban-the-bomb movement
The politicisation of youth
The student movement
The anti-Vietnam War movement
Old guard vs. new guard

4 Fragmentation and Demise: Communist Youth Organisations 1969-1991
Gender roles, sexuality and the feminist movement
The anti-racist movement
The gay rights movement
The final years

Part II

5 From Heroes to Villains: The Second World War and '1956'
Resistance and war trauma

6 Private Spheres: Communist Home Life
Politics at home
Cultural upbringing
Child-rearing mores

7 Public Spheres: Neighbourhood, School and Work
School and education
Work and careers
Anti-communism – MI5 and the BVD
Working mothers
Money and poverty
Summer camps and holidays
Friendships and relationships

8 Epilogue: Looking Back

9 Afterword

List of Abbreviations

Recensies en Artikelen

“Excellent – well researched, convincing in its argument, and a valuable contribution to communist (and wider social) history.”
– Matthew Worley, Professor of Modern History, University of Reading; Co-founder and editor of Twentieth Century Communism

“Elke Weesjes has built on the work of the historians of communism who have charted the study of daily communist lives as they were lived, not as simply an expression of Soviet policies. She skillfully compares the British and Dutch communist movements, specifically the experiences of children growing up in “red” families. Breaking new methodological and historiographical ground, this book captures the subjective experience of mid-twentieth century communist life in these two countries and how this influenced the forms of radicalism that emerged in the 1960s and beyond.”
– Paul C. Mishler, Associate Professor of Labor Studies, Indiana University; author of Raising Reds: Young Pioneers, Radical Summer Camps, and Communist Political Culture in the United States 1922-1956 (Columbia University Press, 1999)

Elke Weesjes

Growing Up Communist in the Netherlands and Britain

Childhood, Political Activism, and Identity Formation

De onderstaande tekst is niet beschikbaar in het Nederlands en wordt in het Engels weergegeven.
Growing Up Communist in the Netherlands and Britain: Childhood, Political Activism, and Identity Formation documents communists’ attempts, successful and otherwise, to overcome their isolation and to connect with the major social and political movements of the twentieth century. Communist parties in Britain and the Netherlands emerged from the Second World War expecting to play a significant role in post-war society, due to their domestic anti-fascist activities and to the part played by the Soviet Union in defeating fascism. The Cold War shattered these hopes, and isolated communist parties and their members. By analysing the accounts of communist children, Weesjes highlights their struggle to establish communities and define their identities within the specific cultural, social, and political frameworks of their countries.

Elke Weesjes

Elke Weesjes is gespecialiseerd in de geschiedenis van radicale bewegingen en werkt aan de City University of New York. In 2021 verscheen haar boek Growing Up Communist in the Netherlands and Britain bij Amsterdam University Press.