It's a pleasure and a joy to report that the memoirs of the novelist Alexander Baron, Chapters of Accidents, have been published for the first time.
Baron (born Alec Bernstein and known within the family as Joe) was a wonderful chronicler of the 'poor bloody infantry' experience of the Second World War, notably in his debut novel From the City, From the Plough. And The Lowlife is rightly regarded as one of the classic accounts of post-war London, and is one of my favourite pieces of literature.
This memoir covers Baron's childhood and family connection to the East End. There's also a wonderful and detailed account of his recruitment into the Communist Party, his entryist activity in the Labour Party's youth wing, and then his part in the CP's preparations for operating underground in the event that they were banned during the Second World War (while the Daily Worker was banned for a while, the party avoided proscription).
There's also a powerful account of Baron's wartime service in France and Italy, and the memoir ends in 1948 with the publication of his first novel and his decision to devote himself to writing.
The book is handsomely produced and includes many photographs. It's published by Valentine Mitchell and sells for £16.95. A bargain!
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