This history of the Labour Party since its inception emphasises the economic and social factors in its evolution -- a focus that provides a framework for assessing the elections, personalities and main events in the partys history. "The Labour Party and Social Change, 1880-2005" covers the entire history of the Labour Party. It analyses the reasons for the partys development and depicts its history as the product of economic and social factors. The argument that is developed does not deny the importance of individuals in the partys growth, but rather emphasises that individuals -- leaders and players -- have had relatively little room for manoeuvre, particularly after 1918 when the party suddenly and unexpectedly became a major party of state. But within the framework of prevailing economic and social conditions in Britain, and the desire of the party to be returned to elected office, individuals have had an important impact on how the party perceived and projected itself: the significant roles these individuals played are examined against the background of social change in Britain, up to and including the General Election of May 2005.
David Rubinstein taught economic and social history at the University of Hull, and is now Honorary Visiting Fellow, Department of History at the University of York. He has been a Visiting Professor of British Civilisation at the Universities of Tours, Angers, and the Littoral (Boulogne-sur-Mer). He has co-edited and contributed to Ideology and the Labour Movement (Croom Helm), and has written several books, including Before the Suffragettes: Women's Emancipation in the 1890s (Harvester).
The Background -- 1880-1900; Labour in Peace and War -- 1900-1918; Labour Between Two Wars -- 1918-1039; Labour in War and Peace -- 1939-1951; Years of Strife -- 1951-1964; Progress and Decline -- 1964-1979; Strife and After -- 1979-1994; New Labour -- 1994-2005.