MacDonalds Party: Labour Identities and Crisis 1922-1931

Hardcover | September 1, 2002

byDavid Howell

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The Labour Party became a major political force during the 1920s. It unexpectedly entered office as a minority government in 1924; five years later as the largest party in the Commons it took office again. For many the party's enhanced status was associated closely with its leader, RamsayMacDonald. The years of optimism were destroyed by rising unemployment; in August 1931, the second Labour Government faced pressures for public expenditure cuts in the midst of a financial crisis. The Government collapsed, and MacDonald led a new administration composed of erstwhile opponents and afew old colleagues. Labour went into opposition; an early election reduced it to a parliamentary rump. This study offers a uniquely detailed analysis of Labour in the 1920s based on a wide variety of unpublished sources. The emphasis is on the variety of identities available within the party, and demonstrates how disputes over identity made a crucial contribution to the 1931 crisis. Thoroughscholarship and distinctive interpretation combine to provide an important examination of a major episode in twentieth-century history.

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The Labour Party became a major political force during the 1920s. It unexpectedly entered office as a minority government in 1924; five years later as the largest party in the Commons it took office again. For many the party's enhanced status was associated closely with its leader, RamsayMacDonald. The years of optimism were destroyed...

David Howell is a Professor of Politics, University of York.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:464 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.18 inPublished:September 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198203047

ISBN - 13:9780198203049

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`As the author of numerous studies of the Independent Labour Party and the mineworkers' and railwaymen's trade unions, David Howell is formidably equipped to bring new life into discussion of the Labour Party in the 1920s and early 1930s. With the candour and confidence of a true expert heplaces his book precisely within the historical literature, and dispenses with a recital of the well-established aspects of the subject.'Contemporary British History