A Communist Insider Tells All

communists in britain cover

The Communist Technique in Britain

This Cold War relic is actually an interesting book. It’s less dogma and more about the inner politics of the Communist Party in Britain and how the British Communists exert a great deal of influence more than would be indicated by the size of the party. I have only read bits and pieces, but I was fascinated by the party discipline issues and the power dynamics of the Party. Cold War nerds out there: I would love to hear your thoughts.


communist technique in Britain back cover

communist technique in Britain summary

communist technique in Britain text on party discipline



  1. Sounds pretty much like the same kind of stuff repentant American communists used to spill in their tell-all memoirs. While I’m not familiar with the British situation, I’m automatically skeptical.

  2. Interesting. My Mom actually worked for the Hackney Borough Council during this time period (I assume in a clerical position, but I don’t know the details) and might have actually met this fellow. I do know she was never a communist. 🙂

    1. “Anyone else rolling on the floor laughing at the “Not for sale in the U.S.A.” line?”

      Actually, this used to be common with Penguin Books and other British paperbacks sold in Canada (and other Commonwealth countries, I presume). This just indicates that the publishing rights did not extend to the United States. Complicating matters, prior to 1989 when the US adopted the Berne Convention, foreign works did not automatically have copyright protection in the States.

    2. But yes, it is ironic that something purporting to teach capitalists to stay with the system they had couldn’t be sold to some of them because … capitalism!

      1. More like legislatively generated market inefficiencies. I doubt any one honestly advocating for the capitalist/free market system would say that lack of truly international copyright protection is a good thing.

  3. This book was pretty influential when it was first published in the UK. It’s a bit of a classic of the (admittedly niche) genre. Worth keeping in a research/university library. Incidentally, I think the author’s daughter might have been vaguely associated with the current very left wing head of the Labour Party!

  4. We still seem trapped between ‘useful idiots’ who think McCarthy was a patriot, and ‘useful idiots’ who think Alger Hiss was innocent.

    For all the right wing red panic, the worst damage done by Stalin era Communists was to the Left.

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