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The Benn Heresy

The Benn Heresy

Foreword by Owen Jones

by Alan Freeman

New edition of the classic biography of Tony Benn with a foreword by Owen Jones.
This new edition of the classic biography of Tony Benn captures the essence of Benn's formidable impact on the British Labour Party and British politics. Written at the apogee of his career, immediately after the Labour Party's 1981 Deputy Leadership campaign under Harold Wilson, it charts the evolution of Benn's ideas and the underlying reasons both for their resonance with the British public, and their root-and-branch rejection by the British political elite.

The rise and persistent attraction of both Benn and 'Bennism' is set against the background of a British industrial decline imposed by the obstinate craving of the political classes of both right and left for a fading imperial glory.

Alan Freeman shows how Benn set out to reverse both by means of a radical democratic transformation of British society, exploding the Blairite myth of Benn as an inconsequential, amiable and unelectable eccentric. Benn emerges as a figure of towering insight and political courage, combining the commitment to equality and social values which defined the postwar Labour left. The result is a vision as relevant to Britain today as it was thirty years ago.

This new edition includes the interview with Benn conducted just after the 1981 Leadership election, a substantive new chapter by the author, and a foreword by Owen Jones, the author of Chavs: The Demonization of the Working Class and The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It.

Alan Freeman is a cultural economist. He is author The Benn Heresy (Pluto Press, 2014) and The Politics of Empire (Pluto Press, 2004). He is a visiting Professor at London Metropolitan University, and a Research Fellow of Queensland University of Technology and of the University of Kent. He is also a committee member of the Association for Heterodox Economics and a vice-chair of the World Association for Political Economy.

Published by Pluto Press in Sep 2014
eBook ISBN: 9781783712359

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