> Skip to content
  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407051550
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 496

Speak for Britain!

A New History of the Labour Party

An original and challenging interpretation of the Labour Party's evolution.

Written at a critical juncture in the history of the Labour Party, Speak for Britain! is a thought-provoking and highly original interpretation of the party's evolution, from its trade union origins to its status as a national governing party. It charts Labour's rise to power by re-examining the impact of the First World War, the general strike of 1926, Labour's breakthrough at the 1945 general election, the influence of post-war affluence and consumerism on the fortunes and character of the party, and its revival after the defeats of the Thatcher era.

Controversially, Pugh argues that Labour never entirely succeeded in becoming 'the party of the working class'; many of its influential recruits - from Oswald Mosley to Hugh Gaitskell to Tony Blair - were from middle and upper-class Conservative backgrounds and rather than converting the working class to socialism, Labour adapted itself to local and regional political cultures.

  • Published: 1 July 2010
  • ISBN: 9781407051550
  • Imprint: Vintage Digital
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 496

About the author

Martin Pugh

Martin Pugh was Professor of British History at Newcastle University and Research Professor in History at Liverpool John Moores University. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the advisory panel of the BBC History Magazine, and the author of over twelve books on nineteenth- and twentieth-century history. He lives in Northumberland.

Also by Martin Pugh

See all

Praise for Speak for Britain!

A startlingly revisionist book... The most provocative and clear-eyed history of the party yet... It is a tribute to Pugh's scholarship that almost everybody will learn something new from this thoughtful book

Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

A stimulating survey

Kenneth O'Morgan, Literary Review

A timely book... colourful, frequently entertaining

Daily Telegraph

An admirable model of how political history should be written

Times Literary Supplement

Excellent and provocative new history

John Campbell, Mail on Sunday

Overall the book is... spliced with incisive arguments and interspersed with challenging verdicts on Labour's evolution... This ambitious Labour history could well become compulsory reading for future party leaders

John Shepherd, History Today

Solid and lasting...thoroughly resourced and researched

Anthony Howard, Sunday Telegraph

Worth it for serious students

Ann Treneman, The Times

Related titles