The Popular Front and the Progressive Tradition: Socialists, Liberals and the Quest for Unity, 1884-1939

The Popular Front and the Progressive Tradition: Socialists, Liberals and the Quest for Unity, 1884-1939

by David Blaazer
     
 

This book is an in-depth exploration of the Popular Front and United Front campaigns in Britain in the late 1930s. The author aims to dispel the myth that these campaigns can be understood largely as a ruse engineered by the Communists into which non-Communists were drawn blindly. Instead the author searches for the idea of 'progressive unity' in earlier episodes in… See more details below

Overview

This book is an in-depth exploration of the Popular Front and United Front campaigns in Britain in the late 1930s. The author aims to dispel the myth that these campaigns can be understood largely as a ruse engineered by the Communists into which non-Communists were drawn blindly. Instead the author searches for the idea of 'progressive unity' in earlier episodes in the history of the British progressive tradition, including the early life of the Fabian Society, and the agitations against the Boer War, the First World War, and the Treaty of Versailles. By reassessing the significance of these episodes, and by reconsidering the role of seminal progressive thinkers in the formation of the ideas and political culture of Labour leftism, the author shows that the relationships between liberals and socialists, and between reformists and revolutionaries, had long been both intimate and fluid. By examining the reasons and assumptions behind individual Labour leftists' decisions to support the struggle for progressive unity in the late 1930s, it is shown that the Popular Front was neither an aberration nor a 'stunt', but a reasoned and culturally familiar response to the major political crisis presented by fascism and appeasement.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780521413831
Publisher:
Cambridge University Press
Publication date:
10/22/1992
Pages:
264
Product dimensions:
6.22(w) x 9.21(h) x 0.75(d)

Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
Notes on the text
Introduction1
1The progressive side of politics25
2The colours of the rainbow47
3Imperialism and war72
4The pilgrims' progress98
5Inside the left122
6Fascism, unity, and loyalty: 1932-1937147
7The Popular Front173
Conclusion193
Notes198
Bibliography225
Index241

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