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Ellen Wilkinson: From Red Suffragist to Government Minister (Revolutionary Lives)

Ellen Wilkinson: From Red Suffragist to Government Minister (Revolutionary Lives) [Kindle Edition]

Paula Bartley
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description


Ellen Wilkinson introduces to new audiences a pioneering Labour woman. This very readable account brings to life an extraordinarily energetic and often contentious advocate of a wide range of radical causes. A feminist, communist and anti-imperialist before she became an MP, the book explores whether radical commitments can be sustained inside parliament and how a socialist woman responded to the effects of economic crisis on the communities she represented. Paula Bartley makes a passionate case for the relevance of 'Red Ellen' to the twenty-first century. (Karen Hunt, Professor of Modern British History, Keele University)

Paula Bartley shines a dazzling light on the ilife of 'Red' Ellen Wilkinson, a pioneering feminist and socialist Member of Parliament. (Diane Atkinson, author of 'The Criminal Conversation of Mrs Norton')

In this fascinating political biography, Paula Bartley perfectly captures the essence of Ellen Wilkinson's unorthodox approach to politics. She highlights the massive contribution "Red Ellen" made as a feminist and as a socialist MP to the development of the Labour Party and its success in the 1945 election. In the present day, as Britain battles with a seriously weakened economy, high levels of unemployment and a disaffected electorate, Paula Bartley's account of Ellen Wilkinson's passionate commitment to improve the lives of poor and vulnerable people will not fail to inspire. (Mark Fisher, former Labour MP for Stoke on Trent )

'the book is clear, concise, and lively, and provides an interesting introductory insight into one of the lesser-known figures of the Labour Left.' (Gordon Bannerman, LSE Review of Books)

Product Description

Ellen Wilkinson was a key radical figure in the 20th century British socialist and feminist movement, a woman of passionate energy who was involved in most of the major struggles of her time.

Born in October 1891 into a working-class textile family, Wilkinson was involved in women’s suffrage, helped found the British Communist Party, led the Labour Party’s anti-fascist campaign, headed the iconic Jarrow Crusade and was the first female Minister of Education.

In this lively and engaging biography, Paula Bartley charts the political life of this extraordinary campaigner who went from street agitator to government minister whilst keeping her principles intact.

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More About the Author

You can watch me give a talk on Ellen Wilkinson on parliamentary you tube - the title is 'The Mighty Atom' and it is under Art in Parliament.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ellen Wilkinson 6 April 2014
By Katbak
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Thoroughly enjoyable read about a strong minded woman not afraid to support the Jarrow marchers & their families. But this is only one example of her determination and dedication to those who mattered most to her.
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Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Ellen Wilkinson - an interesting subject and a politician of whom I knew nothing. Consequently, this was an thought provoking read. However, throughout, there was the feeling that the author had barely scratched the surface of her life and, indeed, Paula Bartley confesses that there is little more than published press accounts and official documents to draw upon. The author approaches the subject from a "far left" perspective and seems wistful that her subject is eventually drawn into the "realities" of government - to "the right" as she, Bartley, describes it and that Socialist Revolution seems further away than ever. There is an attempt to draw parallels between the thirties and today at the conclusion of the book and a ludicrous paragraph citing events an Hungary, of all places, as a modern example of a swing to the extreme right. Nevertheless, as an example of a principled Politician with a social conscience and concern for the economically dispossessed this is an enlightening read.
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ashamed that as a Labour memberfor decades I had not heard of this wonderful woman
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 11 Oct 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable and glad to see a re publication.
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