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Maxton: A Biography [Paperback]

Gordon Brown
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
Price: £12.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

26 Sep 2002
James Maxton was Britain's most charismatic socialist politician of the inter-war period, seen by many as a potential Prime Minister. MP for Bridgeton in Glasgow from 1922 till his death in 1946, Maxton was intimately involved in the strikes of Red Clydeside and his career straddled the great events that shaped modern Britain - two wars, the General Strike and Great Depression, the Means Test and Hunger Marches and the rise of the Labour Party. With Unique access to unpublished letters and correspondence Brown examines the shaping of Maxton's political career from conservative student to street corner orator to leadership of the Independent Labour Party. In this important biography, Brown argues that Maxton;s ultimate failure to capture the Labour Party for a programme of socialist change to end mass unemployment foreshawdowed the failure of an entire political generation.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Mainstream Publishing; New Ed edition (26 Sep 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840186097
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840186093
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 3 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 662,299 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Book Description

`The greatest parliamentarian of his day.' Winston Churchill.

About the Author

Gordon Brown MP was appointed Chancellor of the Exchequer on 2nd May 1997. He has been MP for Dunfermline East since 1983. His other published works include THE POLITICS OF NATIONALISM AND DEVOLUTION and WHERE THERE IS GREED. He has edited a number of books including JOHN SMITH: LIFE AND SOUL OF THE PARTY(Mainstream) and VALUES, VISIONS AND VOICES (Mainstream).

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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
This biography of Maxton sets out in detail not only the political journey of the young Caledonian from naive schoolteacher to revolutionary Parliamentarian, but also seeks to relate a time of unparalelled global social upheavel with the strife of the working classes in Glasgow and subsequent growth of the Independent Labour Party in response.
Brown seeks to enoble Maxton as a man who's conscience is deeply impressed upon by his work in the squalid schools that served the overcrowded tenements of Strathclyde, and how he arrived by his own conclusion that the systematic improvement of the quality of life for his pupils would be brought about by the advent of Socialist principles in relation to housing, equitable employment and healthcare for the wider population.
A frequent theme in Brown's often dispassionate discourse is of courage in the face of adversity. He tells of Maxton and his colleagues imprisonment, victimisation by the authorities, convalescence and frequent intimidation from sources as diverse as Glasgow education authority to members of his own beloved Independent Labour Party, however Brown characterises Maxton was consistently good humoured with unshakable principles, often captured orating with passion and hubris despite the risks to his own welfare and employment as a result of his Socialist beliefs. A theme that the author has carried throughout his own political career.
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