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Working most of his life as an academic in the United Kingdom for the University of Edinburgh and then the Institute of Archaeology, London, he wrote twenty-six books and was an early proponent of culture-historical archaeology and Marxist archaeology.Born in Sydney, New South Wales to a middle-class family of English descent, Childe studied Classics at the University of Sydney before moving to England to study Classical archaeology at the University of Oxford.Becoming a noted member of the left-wing reformist Oxford University Fabian Society, then at the height of its power and membership, he was there in 1915 when it changed its name to the Oxford University Socialist Society, following a split from the Fabian Society.His best friend and flatmate was Rajani Palme Dutt, a British citizen born to an Indian father and Swedish mother, who was a fervent socialist and Marxist.Vere Gordon Childe (14 April 1892 – 19 October 1957), better known as V.Gordon Childe, was an Australian archaeologist and philologist who specialized in the study of European prehistory.Childe studied for a degree in Classics at the University of Sydney in 1911; although focusing on the study of written sources, he first came across classical archaeology through the works of archaeologists Heinrich Schliemann and Arthur Evans.At university, he became an active member of the Debating Society, at one point arguing in favour of the proposition that "socialism is desirable". Hegel, whose ideas on dialectics heavily influenced Marxist theory.

Returning to Australia in 1917, he was prevented from working in academia because of his socialist activism, instead working for the Australian Labor Party as the private secretary of politician John Storey.Growing critical of Labor, he authored an analysis of their policies and joined the far-left Industrial Workers of the World.Emigrating to London in 1921, he became librarian of the Royal Anthropological Institute and continued his research into European prehistory through various journeys across the continent, publishing his findings in academic papers and books.Increasingly interested in socialism, he read the works of Marxism's founders Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, as well as those of philosopher G. Wishing to continue his education, he gained a £200 Cooper Graduate Scholarship in Classics, allowing him to afford the tuition fees at Queen's College, a part of the University of Oxford, England.He set sail for Britain aboard the SS Orsova in August 1914, shortly after the outbreak of World War I.

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