Anthony Crosland was one of the most fascinating and important figures in British politics since the war. His socialism was shaped by his family background, his wartime service in the army and his career at Oxford, where he became a flamboyant, hard-drinking economics don. As a young Labour MP in 1956 he wrote "The Future of Socialism", a book which established his reputation as the chief intellectual force behind "revisionism" on the left for a generation to come. Crosland was more than a writer of great force. His chances of a rapid rise in Labour politics were blighted when his friend and mentor Hugh Gaitskell died suddenly as party leader in 1963, but he held a succession of middle-ranking ministerial posts under Gaitskell's successor, Harold Wilson, and reached high office in 1976 when James Callaghan appointed him Foreign Secretary. It was widely assumed that Crosland would go on to become Chancellor and mount a serious bid for the party leadership. A career of great promise was cut short, however, when he died in 1977, aged only 58, prompting comparisons with other "lost leaders" such as Gaitskell and Iain Macleod. This new study, based upon private papers and interviews with friends and colleagues, provides an integrated account of Crosland's writing and political career. The book considers his significance as a proponent of social equality within an affluent society, and assesses his legacy in the aftermath of Labour's stunning electoral defeat at the hands of Margaret Thatcher in 1979. The author presents Crosland not, as some have, as a "machine for the production of ideas", but as a complex, outspoken figure responding to changing personal and political circumstances; a man who was immensely attractive to his admirers but arrogant and flawed in the eyes of his critics.