Ealing's 'Bird Man' on Fascism, Espionage and The Cold War

New book published by John Green


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An Ealing author will be tallking about his latest and possibly most controversial book at an event in West Ealing this month.

John Green has lived in Ealing for the past 45 years, first in Southall, then Windermere Road and for the last 25 years in Dorset Road Ealing.

John Green

After 20 years making television documentary films, he took up writing and has published over a dozen books, on nature, politics and several biographies.

Years ago he wrote 'Where to Watch Birds in Ealing' and was labelled ‘Ealing’s Bird Man’. He also wrote a nature blog for the Friends of Walpole Park.

His latest book, A Political Family: Fascism, Espionage and the Cold War, (published by Routledge) is very different - a family biography covering the rise of Hitler, the Second World War and the Cold War seen through the lives of one Anglo-German family.

This family – parents and six children – fled Hitler and found exile in Britain during the war. One member, Ursula, gained notoriety as a Soviet agent and playing courier for the atomic spy Klaus Fuchs. She helped ensure that the Soviet Union obtained the West’s nuclear secrets.

The espionage writer Chapman Pincher called her ‘the most successful woman espionage agent of all time’, but the family was not only known for its involvement in espionage, but could boast world-renowned academics. Robert René, the father, was pioneered the use of statistics for social purposes and carried out Britain’s first systematic demography of its colonial possessions.

Among the family’s friends were Albert Einstein and leading Labour politicians of the era like John Strachey and Harald Laski as well as prominent literary figures, including the poet, Lilian Bowes-Lyon, first cousin to the late Queen Mother. Four of the family settled in Britain after the war and played active roles in Britain’s political and social life.

The book launch  will take place at The Orchard Café, Singapore Road on 27 April at 7.00pm, snacks and drink provided and everyone's invited.



20th April 2017

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