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Under Siege: The Independent Labour Party in Interwar Britain

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ISBN: 9781771991551 9781771991568 9781771991575 Year: Pages: 430 DOI: 10.15215/aupress/9781771991551.01 Language: English
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Subject: Political Science --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2018-08-29 22:57:46
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During the period between the two world wars, the Independent Labour Party (ILP) was the main voice of radical democratic socialism in Great Britain. Founded in 1893, the ILP had, since 1906, operated under the aegis of the Labour Party. As that party edged nearer to power following World War I, forming minority governments in 1924 and again in 1929, the ILP found its own identity under siege. On one side stood those who wanted the ILP to subordinate itself to an increasingly cautious and conventional Labour leadership; on the other stood those who felt that the ILP should throw its lot in with the Communist Party of Great Britain. After the ILP disaffiliated from Labour in 1932 in order to pursue a new, “revolutionary” policy, it was again torn, this time between those who wanted to merge with the Communists and those who saw the ILP as their more genuinely revolutionary and democratic rival. At the opening of the 1930s, the ILP boasted five times the membership of the Communist Party, as well as a sizeable contingent of MPs. By the end of the decade, having tested the possibility of creating a revolutionary party in Britain almost to the point of its own destruction, the ILP was much diminished—although, unlike the Communists, it still retained a foothold in Parliament. Despite this reversal of fortunes, during the 1930s—years that witnessed the ascendancy of both Stalin and Hitler—the ILP demonstrated an unswerving commitment to democratic socialist thinking. Drawing extensively on the ILP’s Labour Leader and other contemporary left-wing newspapers, as well as on ILP publications and internal party documents, Bullock examines the debates and ideological battles of the ILP during the tumultuous interwar period. He argues that the ILP made a lasting contribution to British politics in general, and to the modern Labour Party in particular, by preserving the values of democratic socialism during the interwar period.

Reform and Revolt in the City of Dreaming Spires

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ISBN: 9781912656134 9781912656127 9781912656141 9781912656158 Year: Pages: 354 DOI: 10.16997/book28 Language: English
Publisher: University of Westminster Press Grant: University of Westminster
Subject: Political Science --- History
Added to DOAB on : 2019-01-18 12:10:57
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Books about Oxford have generally focused on the University rather than the city. This original book on the local politics of Oxford City from 1830 to 1980 is based on a comprehensive analysis of primary sources and tells the story of the city’s progressive politics. The book traces this history from Chartism and electoral reform in the mid-nineteenth century, through the early years of socialism to the impact of communism in the interwar period, the struggle between nuclear disarmers and Gaitskellites in the 1960s and the impact of the new revolutionary left in the late 1970s. Throughout the narrative, the book contrasts the two approaches of those engaged in progressive politics, those who focused on the politics of reform and improved government and those who preferred the politics of revolt, protest and revolutionary rhetoric. The author argues that a central feature of this history has been the co-existence and interaction of working- and middle- class elements. It rediscovers a rich heritage, a fascinating story and offers a rare wide-ranging chronological narrative of local UK city politics. Through its extensive quotes from primary sources, the book presents a vivid picture of local politics over 150 years.

Hope Lies in the Proles

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ISBN: 9780745399294 9781786801890 9781786802194 Year: Language: English
Publisher: Pluto Press Grant: Knowledge Unlatched - 100940
Subject: Languages and Literatures
Added to DOAB on : 2018-03-16 11:02:30
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George Orwell was one of the most significant literary figures on the left in the twentieth century. While titles such as 1984, Animal Farm and Homage to Catalonia are still rightly regarded as modern classics, his own politics are less well understood.Hope Lies in the Proles offers a sympathetic yet critical account of Orwell's political thinking and its continued significance today. John Newsinger explores various aspects of Orwell's politics, detailing Orwell's attempts to change working-class consciousness, considering whether his attitude towards the working class was romantic, realistic or patronising - or all three at different times. He also asks whether Orwell's anti-fascism was eclipsed by his criticism of the Soviet Union, and explores his ambivalent relationship with the Labour Party. Newsinger also breaks important new ground regarding Orwell's shifting views on the USA, and his relationship with the progressive Left and feminism.

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