A significant figure in post-war British politics, as Minister for National Insurance in the Atlee government, James Griffiths introduced the Family Allowance in 1946, became Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1950, Chairman and then Deputy Leader of the Labour Party before becoming the first Secretary of State for Wales in 1964.
A product of the Welsh radical tradition - forged in the coalfields and nonconformist chapels - James Griffiths became a miner at 13 and was a conscientious objector during the First World War. A talented, hard-working and charismatic leader, he become President of the South Wales Miner's Federation before being elected the Labour MP for Llanelli in 1936, a seat he held for 34 years.
In this, the first full-length biography of James Griffiths in English, the respected historian Dr D Ben Rees provides a comprehensive yet very accessible and personal study of one of the towering figures of twentieth-century Welsh and British politics.
Dr D Ben Rees is a native of Llanddewi Brefi and has been a Presbyterian Minister in South Wales and Liverpool for over 50 years. A well-known writer, lecturer and broadcaster, Dr Rees has authored over 70 publications in Welsh and English and was a personal acquaintance of James Griffiths.
Introduction by Huw Edwards 1 The Roots of the Politician 2 Life at the Coalface 3 A Religious Revival and Political Conversion 4 Pioneering in the name of Labour 5 War and Marriage 6 College Days 7 Labour Party Agent 8 Miners' Agent and Miners' Leader 9 The new MP for Llanelli (1936-1939) 10 An MP in the Perilous Second World War 11 Labour's Success in Wales 12 One of the Architects of the Welfare State 13 The Colonies 14 Reconciler and Socialist Revisionist 15 Deputy Leader of the Labour Party 16 The Years of the Stormy Petrel (1959-1964) 17 The First Secretary of State for Wales 18 Farewell to the House of Commons 19 Peace Mission to Biafra and Nigeria 20 End of the pilgrimage 21 An appraisal of the Politician