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The Future of Socialism: The Book That Changed British Politics Paperback – 14 Sep 2006

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Constable; 50th anniversary ed edition (14 Sept. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1845294858
  • ISBN-13: 978-1845294854
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 2.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 216,480 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'The key social democratic text remains Tony Crosland's The Future of Socialism...' --Will Hutton

'The most important post-War attempt to define a non Marxist socialism for the Labour Party.' --Financial Times

'Labour's greatest Revisionist intellectual' --The Independent

About the Author

Anthony Crosland was one of the most fascinating and important figures in British politics since the war. An Oxford economics don before becoming MP for Grimsby he held a succession of middle ranking ministerial posts before becoming Foreign Secretary under James Callaghan. He died in 1977 aged only 58.


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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
This is an excellent book of British political writing, a worthly follow up to George Orwell's earlier socialist book The Lion and The Unicorn and deserving of a place alongside other UK or anglophile political writing like Hayek's The Constitution of Liberty.

Dismissed by the traditionalist labour left of his day as a dillettante Crosland wrote a book which examined the ways in which capitalism has been transformed from its early days into what exists today and reading it it is easy to forecast the shifts in public opinions which paved the way for the historic migration of the centre ground of politics to the right which took place with Thatcherism.

The is a foreword by Gordon Brown which is a nice piece of writing welcoming the return to print of The Future of Socialism and making some important points about the political imperative of credibility.

Brown appears to posit that British socialists need to take a long, long view upon economic and political development and change in Britain, this is inline with earlier books by British socialists, such as Bernard Crick which posit a change spanning generations during which much confidence building needs to be carried out by socialists and recognition in the mean time of how dated original goals and objectives can become.

Part One of the book looks at the transformation of capitalism and asks the important question of whether or not the status quo can really be considered capitalism. This chapter is important because, I feel wrongly, many supporters and opponents have understood socialism purely in contra distinction to capitalism itself.
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Format: Paperback
It is very much of its time. It is worth reading, but the modern reader will be somewhat lost in the minutiae of how Britain lived and was organised in 1956. All the same, many of the themes of the so called 'New Labour' movement are to be found here. You can also see while reading the arguments that got him to New Labour how incoherent the Corbynist left are. The opening chapters, which are diagnostic rather than prescriptive, completely demolish the alternatives to New Labour, so it is not surprising that the left opposition within the Labour Party has been reduced to rather vague sputterings.

The thing that will strike most contemporary readers most forcefully is that the book is written from a background in which the 1930s and the British society of that time were still living memories. It was, at least in Crosland's account, a completely different country. It was still a country in which aristocracy counted for something serious. It was also a country in which industry was in private hands. So the very interesting references to the world as it was, looking back from 1956, gives one an explanation of why the Labour government of 1945 wanted to nationalise some industries, and why it stopped where it did.

The post war revolt against the British class structure also makes much more sense when seen from this perspective. The account of class in Britain at the time of writing is very illuminating. He has a knack of picking the difficult counter example to an argument, and also the convincing specific point that supports one. However, he is surprisingly naive about the role of class in other countries. He greatly underestimates its importance in America and the Sweden of the day, which he thinks, without any apparent real acquaintance, to have no defined class lines.
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Format: Paperback
I'll not try to better Lark's above review its great and frankly i cant add anything more to it,but this book has held my interest more than i thought it would well worth a read if your politics are left leaning.
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Format: Paperback
Crossland was very clearly a towering intellect, and The Future of Socialism reflects his genius. Articulated brilliantly, and full of vivid moral arguments and economic detail, Crossland lays out what Socialism is (and there are many things) by analysing the past and present versions of it, and lays out how real socialist principles (old ones and new ones) can be applied.
Crossland rescues socialism from the cancer that is Marxism.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Dated in some respects, but are we not all? Principles remain so very strong and worth reading to chuck pooh on today's politiicans' parades
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