First Person

Working for the Soviets

In London my first job after arriving broke in July 1963 was as a plongeur, washing up in a Bayswater pub. At this point in life it seemed to me that I would have far better trained as a plumber or electrician, useful and portable skills, than spent four years and more studying economics at a provincial university. But this was mistaken—it soon emerged that even that was a marketable asset, and could lead to far better things than life as a plumber or sparky. For example, it got me a part-time job as a librarian at the City Literary…

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