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The Liberal Unionist Party: A History (International Library of Political Studies) [Hardcover]

Ian Cawood
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 Aug 2012 International Library of Political Studies (Book 53)
The Liberal Unionist party was one of the shortest-lived political parties in British history. It was formed in 1886 by a faction of the Liberal party, led by Lord Hartington, which opposed Irish home rule. In 1895, it entered into a coalition government with the Conservative party and in 1912, it amalgamated with the Conservatives. Ian Cawood here uses previously unpublished archival material to provide the first complete study of the Liberal Unionist party. He argues that the party was a genuinely successful political movement with widespread activist and popular support which resulted in the development of an authentic Liberal Unionist culture across Britain in the mid-1890s.The issues which this book explores are central to an understanding of the development of the twentieth century Conservative party, the emergence of a national political culture, and the problems, both organisational and ideological, of a sustained period of coalition in the British parliamentary system.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris (30 Aug 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848859171
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848859173
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 557,212 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

This book tackles a useful topic, is well written, and thoroughly researched. Ian Cawood rightly notes that, apart from the role that Joseph Chamberlain has played in its origin and development, Liberal Unionism as a popular political movement has been ignored. Far more than merely a creature of Chamberlain s, Liberal Unionism had a life of its own, extending well beyond the parliamentary corridors of power in Westminster. In exploring the details of Liberal Unionism s constituency organizations and its influence among the electorate at a local level, Cawood convincingly demonstrates its legitimacy as a topic of historical investigation. He proves conclusively that Liberal Unionism was not merely a short-lived curious splinter movement in British politics. --Travis L. Crosby, Professor Emeritus of History, Wheaton College, Massachusetts

The Liberal Unionist Party is a well written and cogently argued book. It makes important contributions to our understanding of late nineteenth-century British politics. --William Lubenow, Professor of History, Stockton College, New Jersey

'This is an important book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of late 19th century British party politics. It is written in a clear and accessible style that makes it an enjoyable read. It engages successfully with existing historiography while expanding our understanding of a neglected historical subject. The author and publishers are particularly to be commended for the illustrations, including the examples of Liberal Unionist leaflets and posters which give a strong sense of how the party actually engaged with the electorate. As well as being a valuable work in its own right, Dr Cawood s book will, one hopes, rekindle interest among historical researchers in the study of the Liberal Unionist party.' --Dr. Iain Sharpe, Reviews in History

'...both timely and topical... Ian Cawood's study is, surprisingly, the first scholarly monograph on the history of the Liberal Unionist Party. It is clearly written, extensively researched from primary sources and excellently illustrated with contemporary poster and cartoons. As such it fills an important gap in the historiography of late Victorian politics... Today's Liberal democrats need to heed the fate of the Liberal Unionists which has been so fully explored by Ian Cawood in his excellent study.' --History Today

'Acute and penetrating... one of the most important works on the politics of the late Victorian era to have appeared in recent years.' --Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Ian Cawood is Head of History at Newman University College, Birmingham. He holds a PhD from University of Leicester. He is a regular contributor to the Times Literary Supplement and his previous publications include The First World War and Britain in the Twentieth Century.

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4.0 out of 5 stars It has good pics. 31 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover
`This is an important book that makes a significant contribution to our understanding of late 19th-century British party politics. It is written in a clear and accessible style that makes it an enjoyable read. It engages successfully with existing historiography while expanding our understanding of a neglected historical subject. The author and publishers are particularly to be commended for the illustrations, including the examples of Liberal Unionist leaflets and posters which give a strong sense of how the party actually engaged with the electorate. As well as being a valuable work in its own right, Dr Cawood's book will, one hopes, rekindle interest among historical researchers in the study of the Liberal Unionist party.'
Dr. Iain Sharpe, Reviews in History
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