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A Party with Socialists in It

A Party with Socialists in It

A History of the Labour Left

by Simon Hannah

Foreword by Nadia Whittome and John McDonnell

A smart and succinct history of the Labour left

*A Guardian Book of the Day*

The defeat of socialist firebrand Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader in 2019 confirmed Tony Benn's famous retort 'the Labour party has never been a socialist party, although there have always been socialists in it.'

For over a hundred years, the British Labour Party has been a bastion for working class organisation and struggle. However, has it ever truly been on the side of the workers? Where do its interests really lie? And can we rely on it to provide a barrier against right-wing forces?

Simon Hannah's smart and succinct history of the Labour left guides us through the twists and turns of the party, from the Bevanite movement and the celebrated government of Clement Attlee, through the emergence of a New Left in the 1970s and the Blairism of the 1990s, to Corbyn's defeat and his replacement by Keir Starmer.

This new edition is updated throughout, with a new final chapter and conclusion bringing the story up to date.

Simon Hannah is a writer, labour activist and trade unionist. His work has been featured in Open Democracy and New Left Project.

Nadia Whittome is Labour MP for Nottingham East. On her election in December 2019 at the age of 23, Whittome became the youngest MP in the House of Commons. She is a member of the Socialist Campaign Group of Labour MPs.

John McDonnell is a British Labour Party politician who was appointed the Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer in September 2015. He became the Member of Parliament (MP) for Hayes and Harlington at the 1997 general election, and has retained his seat from then onwards.

'A welcome corrective, This book astutely appraises British politics’ most frustrating but important dissident tradition'

- 'Guardian'

'Admirably clear-sighted'

- 'New Statesman'

'At a very crucial time in British politics, this book helps us to fill in important gaps in our knowledge'

- David Coates, author of 'Prolonged Labour: The Slow Birth of New Labour in Britain'

'A well-timed explanation of the class contradictions at the root of the Labour Party from its creation to the present day'

- 'Labour Briefing'

Foreword to the Second Edition by Nadia Whittome MP
Foreword to the First Edition by John McDonnell MP
Preface to the Second Edition
Introduction
1. Divided Beginnings
2. Second Time as Disaster
3. The Age of Consent
4. The Civil War
5. 'Though Cowards Flinch...'
6. The Broad Church Collapses
7. The Single Idea
8. The Corbyn Supremacy
9. From Ancient Grudge Break to New Mutiny…
Conclusion: …Where Civil Blood Makes Civil Hands Unclean
Notes
Index

Published by Pluto Press in Aug 2022
Paperback ISBN: 9780745345574
eBook ISBN: 9780745345598

272 pages

140mm x 216mm