Thomas Linehan
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A single communist personality?
Communist couples and red families
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This chapter focuses on the contexts and circumstances in which communist marriages occurred, as well as the institution of the communist marriage, including its conventions and defining characteristics. It considers the family's role in facilitating recruitment and sustaining communist political engagement. The Browns of Yorkshire were a red family. Party stalwarts throughout the interwar period, the Browns were emblematic of the ideal communist couple. Communist couples were much in evidence in the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). For the CPGB, the ideal was to create a single identity, a single communist personality, within the family framework, particularly within the confines of the home. As well as precipitating political activism and facilitating recruitment into communism, the wider communist family network beyond the husband and wife pairing performed an important political socialisation role by helping shape communist attitudes, values, and beliefs.

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Communism in Britain 1920–39

From the cradle to the grave


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