6 May 2011

A whole chapter on Ellis Smith in Moscow?

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Michael Rank reviews Passport to Peking in Asia Times»  As for Ellis Smith, seen above with Barbara Castle in Novosibirsk as they passed through in October 1954, well, I wondered too…   But there was something about Salford’s  slow-minded and exasperating  “champion of the north”, and it stopped me from cutting him out altogether.  His rambling speeches made everyone cringe, and not just because he kept praising Stalin and going on about the day, in 1927, when he saw a protesting Leon Trotsky chased out of Moscow’s Red Square by that rising “man of steel’s”  bruisers. History is cruel, and hindsight even worse, but  there will always be room for a loser or two in my books.  And anyway, as Sam Hynes  asks from Princeton, “where else but in England would you find such an innocent radical?”

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