This trenchant account of the last twenty-five years of the British Labour Party argues that Tony Blair's modernizing tendency was profoundly mistaken in asserting that the only alternative to traditional social democracy and narrow parliamentarianism was an acceptance of neo-liberalism. In blaming the Labour left, rather than the social-democratic right for the party's years in the electoral wilderness, the modernizers rejected the creativity and energy which the party's New Left had mobilized, and without which their own professed aim of democratic renewal was unlikely to be realized. In this new edition, the authors, in collaboration with David Coates, review the debate in light of the Blair government's first three years in office.
“Leo Panitch and Colin Leys have written a book whose significance extends far beyond the specific case of the British Labour Party.”
“... a brilliant refutation of New Labour's version of history. With an impressive range of evidence, careful analysis and a theoretical framework, [Panitch and Leys] have provided a highly readable and committed book ... recommended for everyone who really wants to understand the politics and recent history of the Labour Party.”
“... a rich and immensely enjoyable narrative, full of detail about the trajectory taken by Labour over the last quarter-century.”