Last Christmas I advised readers to check out these titles as we embarked on another year of political drama.
This year the site has looked at numerous new titles that have dealt with working class decline, in an attempt to understand the causes of Brexit and the increasing disconnect between the Labour Party and its heartlands. This was best represented in our ‘Book of the Year’: Hired by James Bloodworth. Bloodworth is well worth a follow on twitter @J_Bloodworth, and is emerging as a credible alternative to Owen Jones on the left.
To all the followers of the Tides of History, have a very Merry Christmas and we will be back in the New Year.
Books of the Year
To understand Working Class Conditions
Hired: James Bloodworth
Six months working in the bargain basement of the British economy almost finished James Bloodworth off. His inside account is a shocking insight into the dystopian practices that govern the new working class, who are working harder than ever for their poverty.
To understand the Decline of Council Housing in Britain
Municipal Dreams: John Boughton
In 1979 42% of the British population lived in a council house. Today the figure is less than 8%. The drop has led to an inflated housing market, insecure tenancies and a sustained cultural attack on the working class. As Britain endures its worst housing crisis since the war, with 1.8m households on the waiting list, can Labour revitalise the municipal dream?
To understand the Leadership of the Labour Party
Labour and the Left in the 1980s: Jonathan Davis and Rohan McWilliam
It was Tony Benn who said that there is no final victory or final defeat. But for the Labour left, the 1980s represented a definitive moment. What followed was a New Labour leader who argued Thatcherism was both right and inevitable. The left never subscribed to that view and, should they end up in government, will do everything within their power to reverse it.
To understand the Anger of Labour’s Heartlands
Left for Dead: Lewis Goodall
In Left for Dead, Lewis Goodall – Political Correspondent for Sky News – takes up the task of assessing the Blair years from his own working class perspective. His part memoir/part political state of the nation book analyses how the party has been reborn – for good or for ill – under Jeremy Corbyn.
To understand the Danger of Hung Parliaments
The British Tradition of Minority Government: Timothy Peacock
It was in the Summer of 2017 – at the hedonistic setting of Glastonbury – that Jeremy Corbyn predicted he would be Prime Minister by Christmas. He later claimed he would do it within twelve months. Experts now agree that October will be an ‘Autumn of Discontent’ for the Tories. The door could indeed be opened for Corbyn. But as a new book outlines, minority governments are surprisingly durable and difficult to bring down.
To understand the Managed Decline of Rugby League
The Clive Sullivan Story: James Oddy
1972 was a tumultuous year in Britain’s history. The Heath Government faced down unprecedented industrial and social conflict. The National Front was on the rise. Labour swung to the left and unemployment hit the fatal one million mark. Amidst the chaos, Great Britain RL appointed the first black captain of any British national side. It was done without mass protest or jubilant fanfare. For that reason it remains unheard by the sporting public. James Oddy looks to rectify it with his epic tale of the Humberside legend Clive Sullivan.
To understand the State of PMQs and Tribal Politics
Punch and Judy Politics: Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton
For Ayesha Hazarika and Tom Hamilton, their task was just as chilling: to prepare the “I can’t win on image” Ed Miliband for his weekly battle with David Cameron. Their experience motivated them to write Punch and Judy Politics: An Insiders’ Guide to Prime Minister’s Questions, with contributions from the key players of the past decade – Tony Blair, Alastair Campbell, David Cameron, William Hague and George Osborne.