Champagne and Meatballs: An Autobiography of Sorts by Larry Hannant, Bert Whyte

By Larry Hannant, Bert Whyte

Lively for over forty years with the Communist occasion of Canada, BertWhyte was once an underground historic rogue who challenged the illegalityof left-wing politics in the course of the Nineteen Thirties and onwards. His unforgettablelife tale spans a long time and continents, his wanderlust pushing himonto the Canadian railroad through the nice melancholy as a migrantworker, into the arguable politics of Beijing and Moscow as apress correspondent, and out of the RCMP's succeed in in the course of global WarII as a draft dodger. A cigar-smoking rabble-rouser, Whyte was once recognized bymany as a such a lot captivating storyteller, by no means afraid to file theunbiased fact approximately even his personal political brotherhood. A sanitizedCommunist memoir this is often not.Brought to mild and brought by means of editor and historian Larry Hannant,Champagne and Meatballs is Bert Whyte's fascinatingmemoir written months prior to his demise in Moscow in 1984. Brash, funny,irreverent, and unique, it highlights an immense standpoint onworld heritage whereas delving into the tale of the fellow who used to be braveenough to dwell it.

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Jim Murray returned home in a blaze of glory. The war to end all wars was over and we were to have a world fit for heroes to live in. Came the 1921 depression and my dad was out of work. He was a good third-class engineer, accustomed to making $200 a month. Now he refused to work for $150. ” They didn’t stick together and Dad eventually was forced to take a job, far from home, at $180. Far from home. That’s the story of my father’s life. At Cobalt we had lived together as a family, but for the next twenty years, never, except on a couple of occasions when he was ill.

Somehow we all managed to get out, and miraculously no one was hurt — except that the baby lost a toenail on one little toe. Harry Lee Tong sold his wrecked car the next day and to the best of my knowledge never drove again. Sunday was a dull day around our house. Mother knew exactly what God intended us to do on Sunday. All reading material except the Bible was put up on a high shelf and not to be touched. My brother and I were forbidden to go to the schoolyard and play baseball with the other kids, though we were allowed to have a quiet game of catch alongside the house, after our return from Sunday school.

When he signed up with the Toronto Scottish Regiment at the age of thirty-three, he was an older-thanaverage soldier. His attestation papers recorded only that he was a reporter in civilian life and mentioned no political activism. The Communist Party had ended its opposition to the war when the USSR was invaded on June 22 , 1941, and was now urging the government and all Canadians to exert every effort to defeat fascism. 22 Before throwing himself into the military, Whyte arranged his personal affairs.

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