A Century of Labour by Jon Cruddas
19 January 2024
Britain’s first Labour government took office on 22 January 1924. Its centenary provides an opportunity to reassess the party's performance over the last 100 years, and with an election pending, the character and purpose of the modern party.
Labour defined the dominant political settlement of much of the Twentieth Century: the welfare state. It has achieved much in pursuit of material change, social reform and equality. It has challenged patriarchy, racism and the legacy of imperialism, promoted human rights and delivered democratic and constitutional renewal. Yet any honest assessment must acknowledge a century littered with failures and missed opportunities.
In this compelling book, Jon Cruddas, one of the country's foremost experts on Labour politics, details the vivid personalities and epic factional battles, the immense achievements and profound disappointments that define a century of Labour. Uniquely framed around competing visions of socialist justice within the Party, he provides a way to rethink Labour history, the divisions and factions on the left and to reassess key figures at the helm of the movement from Keir Hardie through to Keir Starmer.