The novelist Alexander Baron (1917-1999) was born into a working-class Jewish home in Hackney, joined the Communist Party as a young man, saw the thick of battle in Sicily and Normandy, and became one of the most admired writers of post-war Britain. His first novel, From the City, From the Plough (1948), was acclaimed as the definitive novel of the Second World War, the first of a trilogy including There’s No Home (1950) and The Human Kind (1953). This was followed by a string of novels about working class life in post-war London, including The Lowlife (1963) a cult novel for many other writers ever since. In recent years his reputation has flourished, with many of his fifteen novels back in print. This is the first detailed study of the man and his work.
“For too long the novels of Alexander Baron have been a secret shared by a committed band of enthusiasts. Now the threads of the complex life that informed a long sequence of passionate and driven fictions have been meticulously unravelled. Baron deserves this attention. A convinced localist and a man of vision, his witness to the years of political conflict and the emergence of a new city is invaluable. As intended, we reach for the backlist with sharper hunger.” — Iain Sinclair
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