Following his previous lecture on the subject, Professor Nicholas Deakin CBE and a panel of experts discuss the lives and ideas of middle class Communist recruits in 1930s Britain. Why did some idealistic young people join the Party in the inter-war years? What was the attraction of Communism and which beliefs, events or material circumstances prompted them to join? How did the Party respond to this predominantly university-educated group of recruits?
Professor Sir Roderick Floud FBA is an Honorary Fellow of Gresham College having served as the Provost of Gresham College between 2008 and 2014, taking over the role from Lord Sutherland of Houndwood KT FBA and being followed by Sir Richard Evans FBA. Sir Roderick Floud is President Emeritus of the London Metropolitan University and he was previously the Chairperson of the Standing Committee for the Social Sciences at the European Science Foundation.
His particular interests in part-time and mature students in higher education has been reflected in many of his publications as well as his participation in numerous boards and committees. Of particular note are his roles as President of Universities UK (representing 121 British Universities), Vice-President of the European University Association (where he was particularly involved in the 'Bologna process' of converging European education systems), and Chair of the Social Sciences Committee of the European Science Foundation (representing research councils and learned academies from thirty European Countries). In 2005 he received a knighthood for his services to Higher Education in the Queen's Birthday Honours.
Sir Roderick Floud is an economic historian, with publications on topics as diverse as technological change, the use of IT in the study of history, the evolution of technical education and changes in human height, health and welfare. He holds honorary fellowships from Emmanuel College Cambridge, Wadham College Oxford, Birkbeck College London and the Historical Association, as well as honorary degrees from City University London and the University of Westminster. He was elected an Academician of the Social Sciences in 2000 and a Fellow of the British Academy in 2002.
Juliet Gardiner is a British historian and a commentator on British social history from Victorian times through to the 1950s. She is a former editor of History Today magazine, a Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research of the School of Advanced Study at the University of London, an Honorary Fellow at the University of Edinburgh and previously taught at Middlesex University and Oxford Brookes University. Since 2001 she has been a full-time writer.
The Right Honourable the Lord Healey was Secretary of State for Defence from 1964 to 1970 and Chancellor of the Exchequer from 1974 to 1979.
Healey was born in Mottingham in 1917. While studying at Balliol College, Oxford, he became active in politics. He joined the Communist Party in 1937, but left during the Second World War, in which he served with the Royal Engineers in North Africa and Italy. He joined the Labour Party, eventually being elected to the House of Commons in 1952. After a distinguished political career, he retired from the Shadow Cabinet in 1987 and in 1992 stood down as a Leeds MP after 40 years. In that same year, he received a life peerage as Baron Healey of Riddlesden, West Yorkshire.
His publications include; Healey's Eye (photography) (1980), The Time of My Life (his autobiography) (1989), When Shrimps Learn to Whistle (1990), My Secret Planet (an anthology) (1992), Denis Healey's Yorkshire Dales (1995) and Healey's World (2002).
Peter Hennessy is Attlee Professor of Contemporary British History at Queen Mary, University of London, and was recently elected a Fellow of the British Academy. Before joining the Department in 1992, he was a journalist for twenty years with spells on The Times as a leader writer and Whitehall Correspondent, The Financial Times as its Lobby Correspondent at Westminster and The Economist. He was a regular presenter of the BBC Radio 4 Analysis programme from 1987 to 1992. In 1986 he was a co-founder of the Institute of Contemporary British History. Professor Hennessey was Gresham Professor of Rhetoric between 1994 and 1997.
Nicholas Deakin has worked as a civil servant and in local government and chaired national and local voluntary bodies. He was a founding member of the Runnymede Trust. From 1980 to 1998 he was Professor of Social Policy and Administration at the University of Birmingham. He is currently Vice-Chair of the Baring Foundation.