Class Act

Class Act : The Cultural and Political Life of Ewan MacColl

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Sometimes described as `the British Brecht', Ewan MacColl (1915-1989) was a major twentieth-century political artist. This is the first biography of MacColl, and was prepared with the authorisation of his collaborator and widow, Peggy Seeger.

MacColl became a communist at fourteen and spent six decades at the cultural forefront of numerous political struggles, producing plays, songs and radio programmes on subjects ranging from the Spanish Civil War to the Poll Tax. Charting his involvement in radical theatre, his ground breaking radio work in the UK and the USA, as well as his musical influences and legacy, his three marriages, and his relationship with his songwriter daughter Kirstie MacColl, this is a lively account of a much-loved icon of 20th century folk music.

Drawing on extensive research, Class Act is a freshly conceived and energetically written account of a highly creative and controversial activist.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 150 x 230 x 20.57mm | 535.24g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745321658
  • 9780745321653
  • 590,322

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Table of contents


1. Lower Broughton

2. Red Haze

3. Welcome, Comrade

4. Browned Off

5. A Richer, Fuller Life

6. Towards a People's Culture

7. Croydon, Soho, Moscow, Paris

8. Bard of Beckenham

9. Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom

10. Sanctuary

11. Endgame


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About Ben Harker

Ben Harker is Lecturer in 20th Century Literature at the University of Manchester. He is the author of Class Act: The Cultural and Political Life of Ewan Maccoll (Pluto, 2007).
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