Campaign group Compass are hosting a special one-off webinar on 17 January to launch Jon Cruddas MP’s new book, A Century of Labour, described by shadow levelling up and housing secretary Lisa Nandy as “a must-read from one of Labour’s most insightful and original thinkers”.
The book, due to be published on 19 January, asks:
- What does Labour stand for?
- Why has Labour struggled to win elections and hold on to power?
- Which personalities have divided the party? And who has brought them together?
- How can Labour learn from the past to build its future success?
According to Nandy: “Cruddas’ clear-eyed analysis gets to the very heart of the ideas and the personalities that have united and divided the Labour Party”, while Labour peer Lord Glasman describes it as: “Quite simply the best history of the Labour Party I have read. Cruddas’ retrieval of the ethical tradition will serve as a guide to the Labour Party’s future.”
“Labour history is complicated; a deeply contested terrain,” says the book’s advanced publicity. “In the last 100 years, there have only been six Labour prime ministers, and only three won a majority at a general election.
“Despite many extraordinary achievements, including the introduction of a welfare state and the National Health Service, Labour has only held power for a total of 33 years, many of them politically precarious.
“Over the years, says Cruddas, we have regularly been told that Labour will never again hold power as it lies on the wrong side of history. But Labour’s current popularity reflects an enduring demand for the type of political change the party represents and its ability to evolve with the times informed by a restless desire to serve.”
Compass director Neal Lawson said of the book: “If the Labour Party is to win office and govern effectively, it should study A Century of Labour, and embrace the deep lessons it offers about success built on tolerance, respect and pluralism.”
At the meeting, Cruddas will outline the scope of the book while a panel of thinkers, including political theorist Marc Stears and human rights academic Francesca Klug, will respond. According to Compass it will be a unique opportunity “to assess not just Labour’s past, present and future but Labour’s relationship to other parties and forces”.
The meeting is set to showcase a new series of podcasts from Compass called the Reading Room. These member-exclusive discussions will feature Compass staff interviewing authors about their books, with themes ranging from politics, society and culture to economics.
A Century of Labour by Jon Cruddas will be published by John Wiley and Sons on 19 January 2024.
Pre-publication copies of the book can be ordered here.
Use discount code CRU40 at checkout for a 40% discount price of £15 (plus p&p).