By Patricia Hollis
First released in 1997, Patricia Hollis's biography of the pioneering Labour MP Jennie Lee (1904-1988) received either the Wolfson background Prize and the Orwell Prize. it's the definitive examine of this impressive girl, her stormy political profession, and her marriage to Aneurin Bevan. In a brand new preface to this version Hollis provides insights into Lee's lifestyles which emerged next to first e-book, and in addition attracts on her personal event as a Labour Minister from 1997-2005.
'Lee's lives and loves, passions and drives are superbly and admittedly explored in Patricia Hollis's compelling book.' THES
'Superbly researched, engrossingly written, scrupulously honest.' Gerald Kaufman, day-by-day Telegraph
'What makes it really interesting is the author's personal first-hand wisdom of politics and of the Labour movement.' TLS
'One of the easiest political biographies of modern years' Alan Watkins, New Statesman
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Extra info for Jennie Lee: A Life
Yet myself presiding at your desk, with the Coles, and Laskis and Cramps and Greenwoods and Cripps as general of a few of the easiest of your closest political colleagues, is a prospect unreal, and with no trust or stimulus for me. If i'm only a twisted, perverse, incompetent individual, then greater you comprehend that now than later. individually i don't believe i'm. i'm ready, and staring at and if the issues and other people I reject are so quite a few, then i am hoping you'll blame a few of it no less than on outward conditions and never all on my jaundiced view aspect. unfastened we will agree or quarrel on these issues. yet sure? what could take place to us then? after all i am hoping that the adaptation among us will turn out in any case organisational instead of whatever extra yet marriage prior to we have been fairly certain that we'd even be politically married, is simply out of the query …23 Jennie, along with her ordinary well suited publish-and-be-damned angle, published so much of this letter in My existence With Nye, even though she stopped with the connection with a ménage à deux. The impact of enhancing out the final 3 paragraphs is to slip over the very actual political difficulties (and not only dinner with the Cripps and Laskis) that confronted them either following the disaffiliation of the ILP. Frank had long past a method, Jennie the opposite. the issues of Frank’s divorce apart, Jennie may possibly by no means conform to a wedding which restricted by any means her personal political lifestyles. either one of them have been looking for by-elections. Frank was once quickly to be followed for Nelson and Colne. With MacDonald long gone, he was once operating to push the respectable Labour occasion to the Left—which may, he wrote to Charles Trevelyan, carry Jennie again into the social gathering, and the management below the regulate of the flow. He and Brailsford introduced jointly these ILP branches and participants who wouldn't disaffiliate from the Labour celebration in the summertime of 1932 to shape a socialist think-tank in the Labour social gathering. They have been joined through G. D. H. Cole’s Society for Socialist Inquiry and Propaganda (SSIP), to turn into, in Cole’s word, ‘a domestic for straying intellectuals’, the Socialist League. 24 just like the ILP, the League learn either family and international politics in sharp type phrases. within the aftermath of 1931, Frank, ‘the urban man’, effectively demanded on the 1932 occasion convention that they need to nationalize all banks, considering that those have been the monetary arteries of capitalism. To this used to be further a Soviet-inspired curiosity in making plans, to convey coherence and rationality to the chaos left by means of capitalism. potent financial making plans required wide public possession, in order that the nation may form the shape and content material of construction, the allocation of source among intake and funding, the availability of credits, and the path of capital spending and buying energy. 25 So convention demanded that they gather the ‘vital issues of energy’ (the Fifties ‘commanding heights of the economy’—utilities, shipping, metal, munitions, chemical compounds, textiles, and health). The Socialist League spoke more and more for the constituency events, simply because the previous ILP had performed.