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George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour (Hardback)
  • George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour (Hardback)
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George Lansbury: At the Heart of Old Labour (Hardback)

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£107.50
Hardback 444 Pages / Published: 19/09/2002
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'The most lovable figure in modern politics' was how A.J.P Taylor described the Christian pacifist, George Lansbury. At 73 he took over the helm of the Labour Party of only 46 MPs in the Depression years of the 1930s. Throughout a remarkable life, Lansbury remained an extraordinary politician of the people, associated with a multitude of crusades for social justice. He resigned from Parliament to support 'Votes for Women', and for the next ten years edited the fiery Daily Herald. In 1921 Lansbury led the 'Poplar Rates Rebellion' - when thirty Labour councillors went willingly to prison in defiance of the government, the courts and their own party leadership. As Labour leader, Lansbury was known universally as a committed socialist an implacable opponent of capitalism and imperialism. He never sought personal wealth, travelled everywhere by public transport, and made his home in impoverished East London. His final years were spent in a tireless international peace crusade to prevent the drift towards another world war. In this major new biography, John Shepherd draws on an impressive range of research to reconstruct the life of a charismatic Labour pioneer. He reaffirms George Lansbury's standing at the heart of Old Labour and his importance to British politics as a whole.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198201649
Number of pages: 444
Weight: 791 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Shepherd does much to fill out our understanding of Lansbury's public and private life, and as such his book will be an invaluable resource for labour historians. * English Historical Review *
... a solid, scholarly and much-needed contribution to the historiography of the Labour left, and of the tension between conscience and collectivism which is part of the fabric of the Labour movement. * New Statesman *
John Shepherd's biography of Lansbury is illuminating and thoughtful. Shepherd succeeds brilliantly in showing why a man who was out of his depth as leader, and achieved little as a minister beyond building the Serpentine Lido and passing the Ancient Monuments Act, still inspired such admiration and affection. * BBC History Magazine *
Shepherd has done a magnificent job of recovering Lansbury's life. His scholarship is impeccable. Shepherd provides vivid and detailed portraits of the disparate corners of Lansbury's career ... A splendid biography that is also a major contribution to the history of the Labour Party. * Stephen Brooke, The American Historical Review *
Jonathan Shepherd's biography is an outstanding work, offering a well-researched, thorough and even account of its subject's life. The strengths of the book are manifold ... this is an excellent biography of a very significant figure in Labour's history. * Andrew Thorpe, History *
This biography is a solid and detailed work, clearly and competently written. * Contemporary Review *
The best modern biography ever of a Labour leader. * Michael Foot, The Guardian, Review *
Excellent, well researched, thoroughly indexed biography ... Shepherd's magnum opus is a service to us all. Lansbury's story needs telling today more than ever. * The Anglican Peacemaker *
A book as meticulous as it is generous ... Lansbury ... has been the only Labour Party leader to lack a definitive biography. Shepherd has now provided one, and in it describes wonderfully well the world Old Labour made and New Labour has lost. * Miles Taylor, London Review of Books *
... enthusiastic and wholesome biography. * Miles Taylor, London Review of Books *
A scholarly and readable biography ... John Shepherd is to be commended for drawing on fresh sources and providing new insights by examining the whole man. * Social History Society Bulletin *
A detailed, absorbing, meticulously researched biography of a great Englishman who stood out as an admirable, selfless personality in late 19th century and 20th century British politics ... captures an infectious inspiration of an inspiring man. * Day By Day *
Splendid biography, scholarly yet profoundly moving. * Kenneth O Morgan, The Independent *
[Lansbury's] story deserves to be told and John Shepherd does it magnificently. * Michael Foot, Tribune *
A thoroughly good read. * Leslie Griffiths, The Tablet *
Lansbury's is one of the most diverse and fascinating odysseys in Labour history ... Shepherd's admirable new biography now becomes the standard life. * Robert Pearce, History Today *
Shepherd writes accessibly, his documentation is full and impressive, and he sketches in the background to each issue with fine judgement. Lansbury is always put in context, yet the life is never in danger of being swamped by the time. * Robert Pearce, History Today *

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