Edmund Dell's style is very dense, in the sense that every sentence packs in a lot of information. As such it requires quite careful reading rather than being a book one can skim through and get the gist. However, it is all the more rewarding for all that. The sheer depth of analysis and information gives one the sense of receiving the unabridged, 'from the horses mouth' account. At times Dell demonstrates a rare wry humour, especially for the perceived short comings of the characters in this history. I read this book as my first political history text because I wanted to know what the left was for, since the end of the Blair/Brown government had left me confused. Dell maps out the shift from social democracy in the Fabian tradition epitomised by the much misunderstood clause 4, through the idea of managing capitalism for greater equality in the style of Tony Crossland, all the way up to the Blair government in waiting and its, by comparison rather watery and insipid, ideas about 'fairness', and social justice. For anyone, like myself who wants to understand the origins and aims of the left in Britain, this book is simply brilliant.