The title of this pamphlet is a play on words. The British government had published a pamphlet, Protect and Survive, which purported to describe survival techniques in the event of a nuclear war. Thompson was dismissive of this advice. The key to survival, he believed, was to rid the world of nuclear weapons. The means to this end was mass protest. Thompson was a distinguished historian, author of the seminal work The Making of the English Working Class. He was a vice-President of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) and spoke at many huge peace rallies in the 1980s.