Thompson had a huge influence on the writing of radically-based social history. Gandhi was among an impressive range of family friends during his childhood. Thompson and Russell were closely aligned in leftist/pacifist politics. Hobsbawm, a friend, formed a communist historians’ group with him. Williams and Hall were political and academic colleagues, and Lessing a friend (and another communist-party colleague). Thompson admired Kołakowski, and engaged in a passionate debate about Marxism with him. James — another correspondent — and he were great mutual admirers (and lovers of cricket).