Ramsay Macdonald: A Labour Tragedy? by Duncan Watts
From humble beginnings, Ramsay Macdonald rose to become Britain's first Labour prime minister. He possessed many qualities - the gift for oratory, organizational skills and the capacity to work hard among them - but, despite all of his services to the Labour Party, he is rarely referred to in party literature today. In the demonology of the Labour Left he has a special place, for he has not been forgiven for abandoning his party to head an all-party National Government. Macdonald believed that in 1931 he was acting out a sense of duty. Others, less charitable, detected an excess of personal ambition and a loss of socialist zeal. Historians have also often been highly critical of Macdonald and have tended to portray him as another second-rate prime-minister of the inter-war era. In this volume, the author sets out to redress the balance of the picture, by examining Macdonald's contribution to the early development of the Labour Movement as well as the better-known events of the period from 1920 to 1931.