By Michael Foot
Michael Foot's two-volume biography of Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan (1897-1960) - arguably Britain's maximum socialist, indelibly linked to the founding of the nationwide healthiness provider, - is likely one of the significant political biographies of the final century. it's the lifetime of an inspirational flesh presser, written through person who knew and unabashedly popular him.
Volume I, first released in 1962, describes Bevan's lifestyles from his beginning in Tredegar within the South Wales Valleys, via his abortive education, his employment at a colliery and the following include of socialism that may make him a pacesetter between South Wales miners. It follows his route to the home of Commons as a Labour MP with a fast-rising attractiveness as a defender of the operating category; and his marriage in 1934 to fellow firebrand MP Jennie Lee. the amount closes with Labour's landslide election victory of 1945, and Bevan's appointment as Minister of Health.
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Extra info for Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 1: 1897-1945
Ers, in a march throughout Cardiff to discover elsewhere to fulfill and talk about extra militant motion for the longer term. a number of tasks for motion outdoor the ambit of the professional computing device have been thought of. the fellow who took the mins at this insurgent amassing used to be Mr Len Williams, now normal Secretary of the Labour social gathering. The speedy results of this row used to be that Bevan took the initiative in organizing what he referred to as, a little pompously, the staff’ Freedom staff. The question membership which had grew to become Tredegar the other way up within the twenties had persisted to function within the early thirties, and now the plan was once to increase its effect on a extra bold scale. beginning at Tredegar and spreading to a couple of the neighbouring cities question membership contributors helped to prepare small teams of teens who got here jointly on the week-ends for the mixed function of political guideline and actual education. the assumption derived a few of its notion from the Schutzbund in Vienna, the staff’ para-military association which was once drilling to withstand the threat of Fascism. The Tredegar employees’ Freedom team obtained no guns; it rented a room above an previous tavern and played its actual education in lengthy course marches around the Welsh mountains. Bevan strode forward, exhorting and expounding his personal model of Marxism to his younger disciples. remember the fact that, he had now not apprehensive approximately associating with younger Communists in those strange actions and he, for that reason, introduced down on his head a rebuke from shipping condominium. ‘The nationwide government Committee,’ he was once informed, ‘is charged through the stream to use the association laid down in our ideas and it certainly needs to take curiosity within the production of equipment no longer supplied for within the ideas and that could, or won't, clash with it. ’ Bevan brushed off their protests and the teams persisted to function for numerous months. the staff’ Freedom team performed no decisive position in British historical past. however it does provide a glimpse into the gulf which divided South Wales from London. Socialists in South Wales rather did think that they may see Fascist jackboots in operation inside of many years. No mind's eye is required to achieve how they need to have scoffed on the warnings from the nationwide government. Bevan additionally participated in additional orthodox meetings with unorthodox affiliates in the course of the following couple of months and an analogous factor emerged on the assembly of the T. U. C. in September which he attended as a miners’ delegate. Walter Citrine provided the overall Council’s record on occasions in Germany. It was once a well-marshalled tabulation of the evidence, repudiating any thought of association with the Communists and hinting on the idea which grew to become a characteristic for a interval of reputable Labour’s perspective to the hot phenomenon in Europe. Extremism at the correct was once the reaction to extremism at the Left; for that reason, in a single experience, extremism at the Left was once the resource of all of the difficulty. the speculation equipped properly with the overall Council’s prior predilections; no longer basically did it underline the risk of Communism however it additionally appeared to provide a believable defence for comparative quiescence.