Geoff Andrews is a writer and historian who specialises in the history of political ideas and political biography.
Born in Cardiff in 1961, Geoff left school at 16 and in 1983, after getting involved in the Union of Communication Workers and taking an Open University course, he went to Ruskin College, Oxford, where he was taught by David Selbourne and Raphael Samuel. From Ruskin he went to University College, Cardiff, where he graduated in 1988 with a first-class degree in the History of Ideas.
After a brief period of postgraduate work in Oxford, during which he published his first book, Citizenship, he took a break from academic life and got involved with the cultural politics of the left in and around the Communist Party and the influential magazine MarxismToday, returning to teach with the Open University in London in 1991. In 1995, he was appointed as a Lecturer in Politics at the University of Hertfordshire, before moving to The Open University, where he is currently Senior Lecturer in Politics. He gained a PhD in 2002 from Kingston University for his thesis on the history of the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB). This was published in 2004 as Endgames and New Times: The Final Years of British Communism and followed other works on the CPGB and the British left, including Opening the Books (co-edited with Nina Fishman and Kevin Morgan).
Geoff has written two books about Italy. Not a Normal Country: Italy After Berlusconi, based on his travels, interviews and experiences of living in Italy (in Bologna, Rome and Bra) during the Berlusconi era was published in 2005, with an Italian edition in 2006. He subsequently commented on Italian politics for the BBC, Sky News, the Financial Times, Open Democracy, and other media. His interest in Italy continued with a book on Slow Food, an international political movement of members from over 120 countries. The Slow Food Story: Politics and Pleasure was published in the UK and North America in 2008 (and in Italy in 2010 as ‘Slow Food: Una storia tra polita e piacere’).
The focus of his most recent writing has been political biography and the Cambridge Spies. The Shadow Man, his biography of the communist intellectual James Klugmann, was published in 2015. Agent Moliere; the Life of John Cairncross, the Fifth Man of the Cambridge Spy Circle, was published in 2020, and his biography of Cyril Lakin, the former literary editor, BBC Broadcaster and MP (and a distant relative), in 2021. He is currently working on a new history of the Labour Party, the Left and the Working Classes.
In October 1994, following a premiership match between Tottenham Hotspur and Queens Park Rangers, Philosophy Football was born as a modest attempt to change football culture. The shirt company was set up by Mark Perryman and the graphic designer Hugh Tisdale, with Geoff managing the football team of the same name. Philosophy Football FC played its first game in London in early 1995. After some spectacularly unsuccessful early seasons, the fortunes of the team changed dramatically following the arrival of the Italian football journalist, Filippo Ricci. Subsequently, Philosophy Football played at some of the leading stadia in Italy, including La Borghesiana, the training ground of the national team and the Stadio dei Marmi in Rome, and taken part in tournaments and festivals in many European cities, including Madrid, Zurich, Lisbon, Paris, Prague, Catania and Istanbul. The team continues to play Three-Sided Football in the Luther Blissett League in Deptford, South London. More details about the team can be found here http://www.philosophyfootballfc.org.uk/
Philosophy and Football: The PFFC Story will be published in 2022.
Geoff is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society and a member of the Society of Authors.