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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Forgotten hero?, 16 May 2010
By 
hbw (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
The answer's in the title. The 2008 Labour Conference voted to make him their official "Greatest Hero", yet many people will have little idea about either the man or his achievements. In this short biography, Bob Holman seeks to address this ignorance and make a case for Hardie to be better known.

Born into a working class family and with little formal education, Hardie learnt about social injustice from the receiving end. By the age of 12 he had already become his family's main breadwinner and had first-hand experience of being trapped at the bottom of a mine shaft.

His story is of a rise from obscurity to becoming a founding genius of a Labour Party that functioned independently of special interest groups or the patronage of sympathetic, but essentially patrician, Liberals. It's the story, too, of a man of extraordinary principle and personal integrity.

At 200 pages, this is highly readable introduction to an important, but overlooked, political figure. It concentrates chiefly on the chronology of Hardie's life, but also looks for the influences that shaped his political philosophy. Personally, I felt that the author never quite brought Hardie to life: this was a man, after all, whose oratory drew people in their thousands, who inspired individuals to dedicate their lives to social justice, who fearlessly criticised wealthy hypocrites and who managed to organise a broad coalition of the Left into a political party (which was as difficult then as it is now).
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "A Hero and Great Leader" - well written biography, 16 Aug 2010
By 
Dr. J. Brooks "Interested Scientist" (Scotland, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
Having been brought up in Bradford, West Yorkshire [where the ILP was formed]; lived in Glasgow [where the ILP was strong] and now live in Cumnock, Ayrshire [which was Keir Hardie's home for many years], the book is a specially interesting biography to me, of the founder and first leader of the Labour Party. Labour's Greatest Hero - probably. There have been various biography's of Keir Hardie over the years, which deal mainly with Hardie's 'political career' - but Bob Holman's book - "LABOUR'S GREATEST HERO?" approaches Hardie's life in a different way and brings Hardie's story to life. Holman deals with much about Hardie's political philosophies and career - BUT successfully and interestingly portrays Hardie's personality and character. Hardie was a major political figure, and this book provides some understanding of what made Keir Hardie the man that he was. Holman points out that there were two major conversions in Hardie's life - first to Christianity, and then to socialism. Other Hardie biographers have neglected the former, but the role of Christianity in Hardie's life was profound. It shaped Hardie's involvement in many of the greatest social changes of the time, and the world as we know it today.
As readers are offered 'The Third Man' and await publication of 'A Journey' as personal records of life in politics - I strongly recommend Bob Holman's KEIR HARDIE: LABOUR'S GREATEST HERO? as a inspiring biography and a timeless inspiration to all.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Keir Hardie, 5 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
Well written and easily read. Contains interesting information which I had not found in previous research
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift, 20 April 2014
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
My husband, (a Scot), who is very interested in politics and history, is enjoying reading this book. A special gift.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Page Turner for all Political Beliefs, 28 April 2013
By 
Ringwood Tony "Tony" (Ringwood - New Forest - UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
This is an amazing account of the life of an incredible man who contributed greatly to the social framework we now enjoy in the country. No matter what your political or religious beliefs, I would encourage you to take the time out to read the realities of the challenges faced by this man. Their is a broad range of evidence used to support the writings, which has resulted in a well balanced piece of work. It is also a book that is written in a manner which will appeal to the non academic types and in it's own way is a page turner.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simple and biased but still good, 20 Sep 2011
This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
Within its limitations, this is a wonderful and inspiring biography. Its subtitle is `Labour's greatest hero?' and it is quickly obvious that the author's answer to this question is a resounding `yes'. Bob Holman acknowledges that his biography of Hardie is wholly sympathetic. He addresses criticisms of his hero but nearly always seeks to refute them. Despite the bias, this is an excellent book. It is much briefer than many modern biographies but none the worse for that, and it still manages to reveal aspects of Hardie's life and character that weightier biographies have apparently ignored or misconstrued. It is written in clear and simple prose. Some may sneer at it for that reason, but this reader found it refreshing and inspiring.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keir Hardie, 26 April 2010
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
This is a well written and researched book on the 'Great Man', stands up well to to Keir Hardie- Radical and Socialist by Kenneth Morgan
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just right, 23 Jun 2013
By 
J. E. Pottinger (Middlesbrough UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
Bob Holman is a good friend and a man of substance when it comes to his political outlook. He has hit the subject just right and gives real substance to Hardie.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars be inspired!, 29 Jun 2010
This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
An interesting and inspiring book, particularly if you are a Christian and a socialist. Shows how Keir Hardie's faith inspired his politics.
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1 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keir Hardie - Labours Greatest Hero, 24 Jun 2010
This review is from: Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? (Paperback)
I purchased this book for my brother (a non computer type) a priest in Australia. He seems content with it and it appears good reading for the politically minded reader. I am very pleased with all aspects of my dealings with Amazon.
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Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero?
Keir Hardie: Labour's Greatest Hero? by Bob Holman (Paperback - 19 Mar 2010)
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