"Labour's Thinkers" seeks to examine the key ideas emphasised by the twelve individuals whom the authors judge to have made the most significant development to the political thought of the Labour Party since the 1930s. Hickson and Beech argue the Labour Party is a party of values but often not of ideas. The number of people involved in the serious discussion of ideas in the Labour Party is relatively small and intellectuals are often viewed with suspicion in what is, or was, a party set up to represent the interests of the working classes. The formulation and development of ideas are therefore crucial to understanding the outcomes of the Labour Party's internal struggles and the basis of the party's appeal. "Labour's Thinkers" highlights influential and, at times, controversial figures involved in the battle of socialist ideas in the Labour Party thus exploring concepts, such as equality, liberty, community, power, the state, ownership and patriotism.
Matt Beech is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Director of the Centre for British Politics at the University of Hull. He is the author of The Political Philosophy of New Labour (I.B.Tauris). Kevin Hickson is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Liverpool. He is the author of The IMF Crisis and British Politics and co-editor of The Socialist Way (both I.B.Tauris).