Harry Pollitt: A Biography
London, Lawrence and Wishart.1976..
First edition; 8vo; original boards and dust jacket. Signed by Marjorie Pollitt and 62 others. Harry Pollitt (1890-1960) was a British politician who served as the head of the trade union department of the Communist Party of Great Britain and the General Secretary of the Party. In 1919 Pollitt was involved in the "Hands off Russia" campaign to protect against the Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War. At the end of the war he joined Sylvia Pankhurst's Workers Socialist Federation, which became the Communist Party. He was heavily influenced by the Communist intellectual Rajani Palme Dutt. From 1924 to 1929 Pollitt was General Secretary of the National Minority Movement, a Communist-led united front within the trade unions. In 1925 Pollitt was one of 12 members of the Communist Party convicted at the Old Bailey under the Incitement to Mutiny Act 1797 and one of the five defendants sentenced to 12 months imprisonment. In 1929 the Party elected him General Secretary, a position he held, with a brief interruption during World War II, until 1956. He was then made Chairman of the Party, a position he held until his death four years later aboard an ocean liner carrying him home from a visit to Australia and New Zealand. Pollitt was loyal to the Soviet Union and to Joseph Stalin. He was a defender of the Moscow Trials. In the Daily Worker of 12 March 1936 Pollitt told the world that "the trials in Moscow represent a new triumph in the history of progress". The article was illustrated by a photograph of Stalin with Nikolai Yezhov, himself shortly to vanish and his photographs airbrushed from history. Marjorie Pollitt (1902-1991) married Harry in 1925, she too was a Communist activist and the author of a number of books on the subject. She was also arrested 1925 for 'being in possession of documents containing false statements' - 'The Workers' Bulletin'. Identified signatures include (all believed to be members of the Communist Party): Thomas Floran, Gerry Hobin, Marjorie Slater, Alice Clarke, Sam and Bessie Wild Sam was a member of the International Brigade who was wounded five times and received the Spanish Republic's highest decoration for bravery), A Bingham, Anne Rothman, Jack Crabtree, Hany and Elsie Wharton, Mike Sweeney, P J Johnston, Michael and Margaret Cohen, W and E Kenyon and John Bunting. Very good in a very good dust jacket, with the edges slightly rubbed and slight sunning to spine. Loosely inserted are two black and white photographs of the house where Pollitt lived; a small black and white photograph of a young Pollitt possibly taken on board a ship and a newspaper cutting advertising a lecture to be given by Pollitt in 1958.