David will base his talk on his most recent book, Party Animals, which is a highly critical, colourful, moving and amusing part-history, part-autobiography. He’ll explore the way he was brought up in a rather myopic, claustrophobic household by a Jewish father from London’s East End and non-Jewish, upper middle class mother from the shires, both of whom were steadfast, card-carrying communists and devout atheists. They lived rather furtively and parallel to the non-communist majority, carrying on their own ways and traditions. In fact, the Cause dominated most of their waking moments: attending meetings, writing articles and books, marching, watching Soviet films. David’s upbringing also had an equally fascinating cosmopolitan side, however, meeting political activists and comrades from around the world. In this talk David will illustrate how dedication to the Party shaped his childhood.
David Aaronovitch is a writer, broadcaster, commentator on culture, international affairs, politics and the media. Having previously written for other papers, including The Jewish Chronicle, he is currently columnist for The Times. He has won numerous accolades, including Columnist of the Year and the Orwell Prize for Journalism. He studied Modern History at Balliol College, Oxford and Manchester Victoria University. He is the author of several books, including Paddling to Jerusalem: An Aquatic Tour of Our Small Country (2000), Voodoo Histories: the role of Conspiracy Theory in Modern History (2009) and, most recently, Party Animals: My Family and Other Communists (2016).