'marvellously original... a fine tribute to the joyous, humane anarchy of laughter, whose nearest political analgoue is that ramshackle, chaotic system of political wishful thinking called democracy.' And their favourite joke? 'What stage comes between socialism and communism? Alcoholism.' -- CHRISTOPHER HART SUNDAY TIMES "entertaining and thoughtful study." -- GEORGE WALDEN EVENING STANDARD "we find at long last the jokes only communism could produce. And while they may not have brought it down, they can still tell us something important about why it fell" SUNDAY TELEGRAPH "wonderful... this isn't just a joke book. Instead, Lewis embarks on a deeply scholarly examination and analysis of the communist joke... an excellent job." -- MARTIN ROWSON NEW STATESMAN "an excellent anthology of anecdotes knowledgeably linked into the history of the Soviet period... very enjoyable to read" -- ELAINE FEINSTEIN DAILY TELEGRAPH "This book gives a good flavour of that socialist-era humour." MORNING STAR "explores the wealth of subversive humour during the long, bleak decades of communism." IRISH INDEPENDENT "Ben Lewis's grimly entertaining study is no mere joke compendium." -- GEORGE WALDEN THE SCOTSMAN "charming, highly original, elegantly written and valuable piece of cultural history... This is very funny book. Like the best Communist jokes, it is funniest when it is grimmest." -- Victor Sebestyen THE SPECTATOR "a fascinating attempt to get to grips with communism's rise and fall in Europe through its funny bone... their cultural significance shouldn't be underestimated." METRO - LONDON, LEEDS, NORTH EAST, N WEST,MIDLANDS
About the Author
Ben Lewis' award-winning film HAMMER AND TICKLE was broadcast on BBC4 in 2006. His article on Communist jokes for PROSPECT magazine, received the greatest number of hits on their website for any article last year.