The Fall and Rise of the British Left
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Paperback with free ebook
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256 pages / October 2019 / 9781788735131
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October 2019 / 9781788735155

The return of British socialism: Where does it comes from? Why now? And where is it going?

The remarkable advance of “Corbynism” did not emerge from nowhere. It is the product of developments in socialist and working-class politics over the past forty years and more. The Thatcher era witnessed a wholesale attack on the postwar consensus and welfare state, through a regime of deregulation, attacks on the unions, privatisations, and globalisation. However, at the same time, there existed a persistent resistance to the growing powers of neo-liberalism. This side of the story is rarely told as it was considered to be a history of defeat. Yet out of this struggle emerged a thoroughly modern socialism.

This book is essential reading for those who want to know where Corbynism comes from: the policies, personalities and moments of resistance that have produced this new horizon. This includes the story of power struggles within the Labour Party, and the eventual defeat of New Labour. The movements outside it—unions, feminists groups, anti-fascists activists, anti-war protestors—that have driven the policies of the movement forward. And the powerful influence of international groups that have shaped the potential for a global progressive politics.


“In 10 days, Britain could wake up to find itself ruled by semi-Marxists for the first time. If so, Andrew Murray would become one of the most influential people in the UK, though arguably he already is. For insights into the Corbyn mindset his new book could be invaluable for those unfamiliar with Labour’s enduring civil war.”

“Of all the analyses of Labour's astonishing 2017 General Election performance, Andrew Murray's provides a detailed explanation of the road the British left has taken to reach touching distance of power. This is a brilliant book - a must read not just for academics but for every party activist.”

“An in-depth examination of how a full-blooded version of socialism moved from the fringes to the centre of British political life.”

“This studious and succinct account of the politics of the left is essential reading for any socialist navigating the dangers of political life as progressive ideas are tested in the real world.”

“For insights into the Corbyn mindset [this] new book could be invaluable for those unfamiliar with Labour’s enduring civil war. . . .The enduring theme is how the left was underestimated.”

“Uniquely insightful in its appraisal of both the prospects and limitations facing the Corbyn project … A rich and needed intervention into the mass movement currently pushing for a humane society in Britain.”

“A lucid, perspicuous account of how Thatcherism—and its subsequent enablers under New Labour—broke the progressive left, and how the left returned from the margins of political life, the book is an honest reckoning with both the promises and limitations of socialism.”

“Excellent … you should read this book because it is not just charting the history of the recent past, but it also charts the likely course of events in the future.”

Verso recommends