Books: Busman's Holiday

COCKNEY COMMUNIST (190 pp.)—Bob Darke—John Day ($3).

Bob Darke is neither a four-star writer, a triple-decker intellectual nor a two-timing spy. He is just a London bus conductor. But for 18 years Busman Darke was a member of the British Communist Party, and in Cockney Communist he tells a story that Communist writers, intellectuals and spies have skipped: how a middle-echelon party functionary lives and thinks.

Cockney Bob Darke joined the party at 22 to fight for a better world. He learned that, for a Communist, it got a lot worse before it got better. A Communist had to like what he was...

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