SDP: The Birth, Life, and Death of the Social Democratic Party by Ivor Crewe

SDP: The Birth, Life, and Death of the Social Democratic Party

byIvor Crewe, Anthony King

Paperback | September 1, 1997

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Launched on a wave of euphoria in 1981, the SDP aroused the hopes and enthusiasm of millions. Promising to break the mould of British politics, its leaders included four of the most respected figures in British public life - Roy Jenkins, David Owen, Bill Rodgers, and Shirley Williams. But the SDP failed. Despite winning with the Liberals a quarter of the vote in two general elections, by the autumn of 1987 it had disintegrated amidst acrimony and bitter in-fighting. Ivor Crewe and Anthony King draw on unprecedented access to the SDP's archive and extensive interviews with all the leading players to chronicle the party's short but turbulent history and analyse in detail the reasons for its early success and its ultimate demise. Reviews of the hardback: `It is British political science at its best, combining intimate knowledge of the players with a firm grasp of the numbers, all gracefully and thoughtfully presented.' Nelson W. Polsby, Choice `This study of the SDP is a classic of its kind, accurate, detailed, perceptive, mercilessly honest.' Shirley Williams, Times Higher Education Supplement `Professors Crewe and King have produced a masterpiece of contemporary history. They marshal complex arguments and masses of detail with the art that conceals art. Their narrative sweeps forward with captivating energy and style, and bristles with mordant phrases.' David Marquand, Observer `If there were a Booker Prize for social sciences, here would be the obvious nomination.' Kenneth O. Morgan, New Statesman `This brilliant history - definitively researched, graced with wit, insight and countless pungent anecdotes.' Gerald Kaufman, Sunday Telegraph `Our two professors ... write clearly, sometimes wittily and without academic jargon. They are masters of their material.' Douglas Hurd, Daily Telegraph

About The Author

Ivor Crewe is at University of Essex. Anthony King is at University of Essex.
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Details & Specs

Title:SDP: The Birth, Life, and Death of the Social Democratic PartyFormat:PaperbackDimensions:636 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.46 inPublished:September 1, 1997Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198293135

ISBN - 13:9780198293132

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Editorial Reviews

`They set out to tell the story of the S.D.P., and to place it in the context of late twentieth-century British politics. They do so meticulously and with a feast of detail on electoral support, party membership, and of course the dealings and wheelings of the principal actors. S.D.P. is animpressive account, and its judgements are in general astute and well balanced.'Rodney Barker