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Andrew Rothstein was born in 1898 in London and died there in 1994. He was the son of Theodore Rothstein, a political refugee from Russia, member of the Russian Social Democratic Party and a close associate of Lenin. Andrew went to school in Islington and was a history scholar at Balliol College, Oxford. He was conscripted in the first world war and led the first of the army mutinies when he called on troops not to embark to join British expeditionary forces invading Soviet Russia.
He was, like his father a member of the British Socialist Party prior to 1920, then an affiliate of the Labour Party, and in 1920 became a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. He served as spokesperson for the Soviet mission in London in the 1920s and was deputy head of the Anglo-American Bureau of the Red International of Labour Unions in Moscow from 1929 to 1931.
In 1945 he became a Lecturer at London University, School of Slavonic and East European Studies, until he lost his post at the height of the Cold War in 1950. He wrote many books on the British working class movement, on Marxism, on diplomatic history and a History of the Soviet Union published by Penguin.
He was closely involved in the post-war re-development of Marx Memorial Library as a centre for education in the working class movement. He played a key role in the construction of the present building and became Chair of the Library in 1970. He was President up until his death.