Free Read Friday - Labour and the Caucus

Posted on October 01, 2015 by Heather Gallagher

It’s here again! Free Read Friday from LUP, where for 24 hours we give you the opportunity to download a free ebook which we’ve chosen for you. Lovely.

For October, we’re offering James Owen’s Labour and the Caucus: Working-Class Radicalism and Organised Liberalism in England, 1868-1888

Labour and the Caucus provides a new, innovative pre-history of the Labour party. In the two decades following the Second Reform Act there was a sustained and concerted campaign for working-class parliamentary representation from a range of labour organisations to an extent that was hitherto unseen in British political history. The franchise revolution of 1867 and the controversial introduction of more sophisticated forms of electoral machinery, which became known as the ‘caucus’, raised serious questions not only for a labour movement seeking to secure political representation but also for a Liberal party that had to respond to the pressures of mass politics. Through a close examination of the interactions between labour and the ‘caucus’ from the 1868 general election to Keir Hardie’s independent labour candidature in 1888, this book provides a comprehensive and multi-layered picture of the troubled relationship between working-class radicals and organised Liberalism. The electoral strategy of labour candidates, the links between urban and rural radicalism, the impact of the National Liberal Federation, the influence of American and Irish politics on the labour movement, the revival of socialism, and the contested identity of a ‘Labour party’ are all examined from fresh perspectives. In doing so, this book challenges the existing teleological assumptions about the rise of independent labour, and explores the questions that remain about how working-class radicals and Liberals shared and negotiated power, and how this relationship changed over time.

'Important and fresh, this book presents new material on the pre-history of the Labour party, bridging a gap between the years of the Reform League in the 1860s and the so-called revival of socialism in the 1880s.' 
   Professor Miles Taylor, Institute of Historical Research London

'...a splendid piece of meticulous historical scholarship casting new light on a pivotal and often neglected period of British political and working-class history.'
   American Historical Review

This is a well-researched and important study ... deserves to be widely read. 
   Chartist, No 268

Follow the instructions below to begin the download of your Free Read Friday title.

How to download Labour and the Caucus by James Owen:

  1. Go to our website:
  2. Select ‘ADD TO CART’
  3. Follow to your cart and click ‘CHECKOUT’
  4. Fill out your customer details
  5. Click to enter your discount code where prompted, entering FreeReadFriday and click ‘APPLY’
  6. Press continue to complete your order, your account will not be charged.
  7. If you do not already have Adobe Digital Editions, you’ll need to download this (also for free!)
  8. Select your chosen download for either Macintosh or Windows
  9. Save, Open, Run and follow the prompts through to installation. It is not necessary to create home shortcuts for this programme but ensure that you tick ‘Associate .acsm and .epub file types’
  10. Closing the installer once set up is complete will open the programme
  11. From here, simply go to File > Add to Library > then select your download of Labour and the Caucus to begin reading
  12. Enjoy! 


Read and exclusive Q&A with James Owen here and remember to check our twitter for updates on next month's #FreeReadFriday, special author insights and latest publications

@LivUniPress  #FreeReadFriday


Previous #FreeReadFriday titles have included:

-Assia Djebar: Out of Algeria by Jane Hiddleston

-The Politics of Memoir and the Northern Ireland Ireland Conflict by Stephen Hopkins

-The Time Machines: The Story of the Science-Fiction Pulp Magazines from the Beginning to 1950 by Mike Ashley

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