The Fall and Rise of the British Left

The Fall and Rise of the British Left

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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.


  • 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.

    Len McCluskey, General Secretary of Unite the Union
  • An in-depth examination of how a full-blooded version of socialism moved from the fringes to the centre of British political life.

    Choice Magazine
  • 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.

    Morning Star