James Ramsay MacDonald (1866-1937)was the Labour party's first prime minister, in 1924 and 1929-35.
In 1900 he was the first secretary of the newly formed Labour Representation Committee (the original name for the party). Ramsay Macdonald became prime minister with Liberal support in January 1924. When a letter (probably a forgery) from Grigori Zinoviev, the head of the Communist Intrnational, urging armed revolution was published in the press a few days before the general election of 1924 as an anti-leftist scare his coalition government was defeated. In 1929 Labour was for the first time the largest party, but his new government had to grapple with the problems of the Depression. Head of a 'national' government, he alternated the premiership with Stanley Baldwin. He resigned in 1935.
Introduction: A Hybrid Ancestry 1
The Making of a Socialist: 1866-96 5
Marriage and Lincoln's Inn Fields: 1896-1900 14
From Pressure Group to Party: 1900-14 21
A Socialist at War: 1914-23 31
Moderation and Honesty: the first Labour Government, 1924 41
Rectitude of Thought, Consideration of Action: the Second Labour Government, 1929-31 61
'The echo that was MacDonald': the MacDonald-Baldwin Governments, 1931-7 73
No Possible Posterity? Ramsay MacDonald in Retrospect 83
Further Reading 146
Picture Sources 152