Red flag and Union Jack : Englishness, patriotism, and the British left, 1881-1924 /
Paul Ward.
Rochester, NY : The Royal Historical Society, 1998.
viii, 232 p.
0861932390 (alk. paper)
More Details
Rochester, NY : The Royal Historical Society, 1998.
0861932390 (alk. paper)
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1999-06:
Ward's book represents a welcome effort to trace how the British Left engaged with concepts of Britishness/Englishness. The author is especially interested in how the Labour Party struggled to fashion a political language consonant with its need to champion progressive policies while also projecting a reassuring image of moderation and continuity. Drawing on a mass of printed materials, Ward details the invention of a parliamentary socialist tradition, one that initially, as "oppositional Englishness" (or "radical patriotism"), extolled British socialism as a means of recovering ancient liberties since lost in the face of capitalism run rampant. Competing tendencies, such as syndicalism, were easily repudiated as foreign, and the Labour Party, its parliamentary development given a national pedigree, could respond more effectively to charges that its interests were internationalist and sectional. In the wake of total war and the Russian revolution, Ward argues, and as the Labour Party faced the prospect of government, it began to embrace a "social patriotism" predicated on domestic social reform. Although ill-focused at times and attentive to a narrow coterie of leaders and spokesmen, this clearly written book addresses an important issue in a stimulating way. Upper-division undergraduates and above. F. Coetzee; George Washington University
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Choice, May 1999
Choice, June 1999
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Unpaid Annotation
Examines the relationship between the British left and national identity in socialism's formative years.
Bowker Data Service Summary
Patriotis is often associated with the political right, but the emergence of socialism in the 1880s shows that the left also drew on such ideas. This volume in the series looks at the link between socialism and national identity.
Main Description
It is generally assumed that the language of patriotism and national identity belongs to the political right, but the emergence of socialism in the 1880s shows clearly that the left also drew on such ideas in its formative years to legitimate a particular form of socialism, one presented as a restoration of an English past lost to industrial capitalism. The First World War dealt a severe blow to this radical patriotism: though the anti-war left continued to use radical patriotic language in the early years, the war degraded patriotism generally, while the Russian Revolution gave internationalism a new focus, and also threatened the dominant concept of British socialism. Moderate Labour sought to prove their fitness to govern, and concentrated on the 'national interest' rather than oppositional Englishness, while the left of the movement looked to Soviet Russia rather than the English past for models for a future socialist society. PAUL WARD is lecturer in Modern British History at Royal Holloway, University of London, and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Westminster.
Table of Contents
Introductionp. 1
Patriotism and politics before 1881p. 11
Socialists and oppositional Englishness, 1881-1906p. 20
Constructing British socialism, 1881-1906p. 37
The left, England and an imperial warp. 59
The Labour party and parliament, 1906-1914p. 76
Socialism and the German menace in Edwardian Britainp. 102
The left, patriotism and the First World War, 1914-1917p. 119
The battle for British socialism, 1917-1921p. 142
Labour and the nation, 1917-1924p. 167
Epilogue and conclusionp. 196
Bibliographyp. 204
Indexp. 227
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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