From the blurb;
"Few political leaders in our history have left a more controversial legacy than Ramsay MacDonald, Britain`s first Labour Prime Minister. The illegitimate son of a Scottish servant girl, MacDonald became a socialist at the age of nineteen and spent nearly half a century preaching his own brand of parliamentary socialism. No one did more to shape the thinking of the early Labour Party, or to transform a weak and deferential trade union pressure group into the main left-wing party in the state. For years, no one had a stronger hold on the imagination of the rank and file.
But after the crisis of 1931, when MacDonald broke with the Labour Party in an agony of conflicting loyalties, and formed a National Government with the Conservatives and Liberals, adulation turned to abuse. His last years in office were a sad and humiliating anti-climax ; and for nearly a generation after his death his earlier achievements were obscured by a cloud of bitterness and recrimination, which has only recently begun to clear.
In this authoritative biography, the first to be based on MacDonald`s massive collection of personal and official papers - David Marquand disentangles the MacDonald of flesh and blood from the MacDonald of legend. He has drawn not only on the MacDonald`s papers, but on a range of other collections - including the Cabinet records at the Public Record Office, the Labour Party archives at Transport House and the private papers of a number of other politicians.
As well as giving a very full account of the 1931 crisis and the formation of the National Government, he throws new light on MacDonald`s leadership of the parliamentary Labour Party before the First World War, on his campaign for a negotiated peace between 1914 and 1918, on the success and failures of the first two Labour Governments and on the internal politics of the National Government between 1931 and 1935. In doing so he also paints a sympathetic and often moving portrait of one of the loneliest and most vulnerable Prime Minister ever to occupy No. 10"
Excellent pages with some edge-wear. Includes a dust-jacket in fair condition. It does have a signature on the front flyleaf, but it is not the authors.