Champagne and Meatballs
256 pages, 5 1/2 x 8 1/2
23 b&w images
Release Date:01 Feb 2011

Champagne and Meatballs

Adventures of a Canadian Communist

By Bert Whyte; Introduction by Larry Hannant; Edited by Larry Hannant
Athabasca University Press

Active for over forty years with the Communist Party of Canada, BertWhyte was a journalist, an underground party organizer and soldierduring the Second World War, and a press correspondent in Beijing andMoscow. But any notion of him as a Communist party hack would bemistaken. Whyte never let leftist ideology get in the way of a greatyarn. In Champagne and Meatballs – a memoir written notlong before his death in Moscow in 1984 – we meet a cigar-smokingrogue who was at least as happy at a pool hall as at a politicalmeeting. His stories of bumming across Canada in the 1930s, of combatand camaraderie at the front lines in the Second World War, and ofsurviving as a dissident in troubled times make for compellingreading.

The manuscript of Champagne and Meatballs was brought tolight and edited by historian Larry Hannant, who has written afascinating and thought-provoking introduction to the text. Brash,irreverent, informative, and entertaining, Whyte’s tale ishistory and biography accompanied by a wink of his eye — the leftone, of course.

Larry Hannant is a Canadian historian specializing intwentieth-century political dissent. He is the author of TheInfernal Machine: Investigating the Loyalty of Canada’sCitizens and the editor of The Politics of Passion: NormanBethune’s Writing and Art, which won the Robert S. KennyPrize in Left/Labour Studies. He also researched and co-wrote afeature-length documentary film on the Doukhobors, The SpiritWrestlers, which was broadcast on History Television. He currentlyteaches at Camosun College and the University of Victoria.


Introduction by Larry Hannant

Chapter 1. Early Years

Chapter 2. The 1930s

Chapter 3. The War 

Chapter 4. Postwar Years

Chapter 5. Letters from China, with a foreword by Monica Whyte




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