George Rudé was born in 1910 and died in 1993. He is primarily remembered as a professional historian and, in the post-war period, he was involved in forming the Communist Party Historians’ Group. The historians involved in this project were a talented and eventually rather famious group. Amongst them were: E. P. Thompson, Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawn, Raphael Samuel, George Rudé, John Saville, Dorothy Thompson, Edmund Dell, Victor Kiernan and Maurice Dobb.
In 1952 members of the Communist Party Historians’ Group founded the journal, `Past and Present’. Over the next few years the journal pioneered the study of working-class history.
As a member of the Communist Party Rudé was blacklisted in the post-war academic world and was unable to obtain employment in the university system. He was for many years a teacher of modern languages in secondary schools in England. There is a suggestion that he may have been a branch secretary in the East Midlands district of the Party at some point in this career. Later he obtained university posts in Australia and Canada.
Books by Rudé include The Crowd in the French Revolution (1959), Wilkes and Liberty (1962), The Crowd in History (1964), Revolutionary Europe: 1783-1815 (1969). In 1969 Rudé co-wrote Captain Swing with Eric Hobsbawn. Other books by Rudé include Paris and London in the 18th Century (1970), Hannoverian London: 1714-1808 (1971), Robespierre (1975), Ideology and Popular Protest (1980), Europe in the 18th Century (1985), The Face of the Crowd (1988) and The French Revolution (1989).