Attlee's War: World War II and the Making of a Labour Leader

Attlee's War: World War II and the Making of a Labour Leader

by Robert Crowcroft


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As deputy prime minister of Britain's coalition government during World War II, Clement Attlee became one of the most powerful figures in British politics and subsequently played a crucial role in the reshaping of the post-war party-political landscape. The architect of Labour's entry into the wartime coalition, Attlee came to straddle the workings of government to a unique degree. Unmatched in his range of influence, he dominated party politics; directed a doctrinal struggle within the coalition; and even sought to create the conditions for a cross-party alliance to be maintained after the war. His goal was to carve out a position of greater strength than Labour had ever occupied before and he succeeded when he led his party to power in July 1945. Robert Crowcroft here examines the political leadership of the unsung architect behind the development of wartime politics and the rise of the Labour party. Traditionally seen as a period of unprecedented cooperation between the Labour and Conservative parties, Crowcroft argues that in fact Attlee's influence facilitated a significant shift towards Labour which sowed the seeds for his party's post-war victory.
Attlee's War mounts a challenge to the popular image of Attlee as a reticent collegiate, and unravels his elusive path to power. Shedding new light on an often misunderstood figure, this book will appeal to all those interested in modern British history and the leadership of major political figures.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781848852860
Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
Publication date: 08/15/2011
Series: International Library of Twentieth Century History , #41
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 5.70(w) x 8.50(h) x 1.30(d)

About the Author

Robert Crowcroft is Lecturer in Contemporary History at the University of Edinburgh. He completed his Ph.D. at the University of Leeds in 2007. He is the co-editor of The Philosophy, Politics and Religion of British Democracy (I.B.Tauris).

Table of Contents

• Capturing the language of patriotism
• Capturing the Home Front
• Remoulding the state and defending the alliance
• The rise of Morrison
• Indefinite coalition?
• Turnaround complete
• Conclusion: The impact of Attlee and the triumph of political leadership

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