A Strange Eventful History
Democratic Socialism in Britain

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A major history of the decline and fall of one of the dominant ideologies of this century.

Tony Blair’s espousal of privatization before the last General Election finally extinguished the life of socialism as a significant political force in this country. There have been many reasons – both philosophical and personal – for its demise, yet in the end socialism sickened and died because of its impracticability and the failures consequent thereon.

Edmund Dell’s highly authoritative and compellingly written history traces the British socialist tradition from the origins of the Labour Party in the trade union movement, examining what socialism meant to the Atlee government in 1945 and what socialist governments from Atlee to Callaghan sought to achieve and why they often failed. It portrays the leading figures and their thoughts and actions from the perspective of one who was an MP and a Minister during the heyday of Labour in the seventies, and who knew all the key players well.

A Strange Eventful History echoing George Dangerfield’s classic The Strange Death of Liberal England, will show how socialism tried to come to terms with reality but died in the attempt; how it failed to resolve its own paradoxes and how, as a result, revisionists and the hard left were set at each others’ throats; how policies attractive to the trade unions and the working classes eventually alienated them; how it broke upon the rock of Europe; and how the SDP finally destroyed the chances of either wing of the Labour Party and enabled Thatcherism to try a very different road to economic regeneration.

Following the tortuous path of the socialist project among the fields of philosophy, policing and personality, with a cast of characters that includes not only leading figures in the Labour Party but those who in their different ways have contributed to the death of socialism such as Macmillan, Heath and Thatcher, A Strange Eventful History will be a highly significant book about one of the great – but ultimately doomed – movements of the last hundred years.

AuthorEdmund Dell
Language TypePublished
Number Of Pages640
Product GroupBook
Publication Date2000-05-02

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