Parties at War: Political Organization in Second World War Britain

Hardcover | August 1, 2009

byAndrew Thorpe

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Political parties formed the cornerstone of the liberal democracy for which Britain claimed it was fighting in the Second World War. However, that conflict represented the most sustained challenge to the British party system during the twentieth century. War forced the suspension of normalelectoral politics, and exerted considerable extra demands on the time and loyalties of party activists and organizers. This all posed a serious challenge to the Conservative, Labour and Liberal parties. Parties at War uses an unusually broad and deep range of records of the main political parties to explore how they responded to the challenge of war. Extensive use of the local as well as the national-level papers of the major parties offers a fuller picture than ever previously attempted. Andrew Thorpe focuses on what parties actually did, at both local and national levels, to sustain their organization during the war. He assesses the varying impacts of war, not just on each of the parties, but also over time, and between the different regions and areas of Britain. Thorpedemonstrates how wartime struggles over organization had significance not just for the election of the first majority Labour government in 1945, but also for the longer-term development of 'party' in modern British politics.

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Political parties formed the cornerstone of the liberal democracy for which Britain claimed it was fighting in the Second World War. However, that conflict represented the most sustained challenge to the British party system during the twentieth century. War forced the suspension of normalelectoral politics, and exerted considerable ex...

After growing up in the North-East Derbyshire town of Dronfield, Andrew Thorpe took first class honours in Medieval and Modern History at the University of Birmingham in 1983. He then researched his PhD on 'The British general election of 1931' at the University of Sheffield under the supervision of Dr John Stevenson. He was appointed...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:330 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.98 inPublished:August 1, 2009Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199272735

ISBN - 13:9780199272730

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Table of Contents

Introduction1. National-level party management2. MPs and candidates3. Agents and organizers4. Party membership5. Constituency activities: the Conservatives6. Constituency activities: Labour7. Constituency activities: the Liberals8. MoneyConclusionAppendix: General election results, 1935 and 1945Bibliography