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One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century

One Hundred Years of Socialism: The West European Left in the Twentieth Century
Donald Sassoon

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This new edition of Donald Sassoon's magisterial history of the Left in the twentieth century includes a substantial new introduction by the author. With unique authority and unparalleled scholarship, Sassoon traces the fortunes of the political parties of the left in Western Europe across 14 countries, covering the fortunes of socialism from the rise of the Bolsheviks through two World Wars to the revival of feminism and the arrival of "green" politics.

Author Info

Donald Sassoon was born in Cairo and educated in Paris, Milan and London. He is Professor of Comparative European History at Queen Mary, University of London and is the author of several highly acclaimed books, including Contemporary Italy: Politics, Economy and Society Since 1945, Mona Lisa: The History of the World's Most Famous Painting, The Culture of the Europeans and Mussolini and the Rise of Fascism.


'A remarkable new work of historical analysis, which will soon establish itself as a classic, Donald Sassoon's lucid and erudite One Hundred Years of Socialism, demonstrates that... the effective parties of the left, whether social democratic or (in a few cases such as France and Italy) communist... have served to regulate and socialise the wealth-creating and directionless economic dynamism of capitalism, not replace it.'
Eric Hobsbawm, Guardian

'A majestic work. Nothing like this great survey exists in any language... stylishly written, with an ironic wit and vivid gift of metaphor, the book is an unfailing pleasure to read.'
The Economist

'A genuinely major contribution to political understanding.'
New York Times

'Epic... and encyclopedic comparative work drawing freely on the histories of countries as diverse as Britain, Germany, Greece, Denmark and Finland... its greatest strength lies in his placing of the left-right ideological batle within the context of the change and development of a capitalist system. Thus, [Sassoon] says, there has been no defeat of socialism by capitalism; the crisis of socialism was precipitated by the expansion of and changes in capitalism.'
Alan Thompson, Times Higher Education Supplement

'Brilliant... Sassoon's view is based on quite phenomenally extensive reading and knowledge. Yet we never feel ourselves to be drowning in a morass of unconnected or undigested detail. Nor does learning here preclude liveliness and wit... an astonishing achievement, whish deserves to become a classic of socialist history.'
Anthony Arblaster, Tribune

'Sassoon's book is remarkable. A massive and original synthesis which deserves to become a classic, there is nothing comparable to it in the English language.'
David Marquand

'[An] extraordinary achievement... Sassoon constantly stresses, with and amazing and enviable width of scholarship, how the pre-existent cultures of different countries made the socialist project so different in each...this book is a small masterpiece. It is vastly informative... and wise in its conclusions... I have not felt so sure that a work would be a standard book in a long time'.
Sir Bernard Crick

'An astonishing achievement. One Hundred Years of Socialism is so learned and wide-ranging, so densely packed and yet so readable, so subtle and refined in its judgements and scholarship, it is a constant source of inspiration.'
Hugo Young

'I read it with unflagging interest and appetite never wishing it a page shorter. After reading Sassoon's enthralling account, glib capitalist triumphalism seems as historically misconceived as the naive socialist millenarianism of an earlier generation.'
Peter Clarke

'Donald Sassoon tells his kaleidoscopic story with ease and urbanity as he guides his readers, with great skill, through the complex issues of ideology and industrial development, diplomacy and war, which have shaped one hundred years of European socialism.'
Paul Preston

'Admirable... based on vast reading (the sixty-page bibliography is no exercise in vanity, but is copiously exploited in ninety pages of helpful notes), the book is an authoritative guide to the recent history of Social Democratic parties and governments not only in the major Western European states but also in the many smaller countries.'
Tony Judt, Time Literary Supplement

'The panoptic history of the European left, from Oslo to Athens, and 1900 to 1995, is uninterruptedly interesting... the author has scaled a mountain of scholarship and returned with an indispensable work of reference and reflection.'
Norman Birnbaum, Political Quarterly

'A compelling account.'
Malcolm Rutherford, Financial Times

'This history of the western European Left, recounted by Donald Sassoon with style and sympathy, is the history not of revolution but of reform.'
Stephen Tindale, Prospect

'Compelling... an antidote to the fin de siècle gloom and modish talk of the end of ideology.'
Fabian Review

'The major political book of the year... Sassoon offers an extraordinary, wide-angle focus on socialist parties over a century and across the industrialized world.'
Patricia Hewitt, New Statesman Books of the Year

'A brilliant and scholarly work.'
Tony Benn

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780767611
Publication Date: 18 Dec 2013
Number of Pages: 1008
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: illustrations

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