MARTIN PUGH HISTORIAN
 
REVIEWS OF RECENT BOOKS
 
 
Speak for Britain: A New History of the Labour Party
 
 

'Excellent and provocative' - Mail on Sunday

'Spliced with incisive arguments and interspersed with challenging verdicts on Labour's evolution … This ambitious labour history could well become compulsory reading for future party leaders.' - History Today

'To have written an enjoyable history of the Labour Party is a remarkable achievement.' - Bob Smythe, ex Labour deputy leader, Southwark Council

'Whatever your politics you will enjoy grappling with Pugh's vigorous, original and robustly argued opinions … An admirable model of how political history should be written.' - Times Literary Supplement

'A startling revisionist book. [Speak for Britain] breaks new ground in seeing that former Conservatives have often played just as prominent a role as ex-Liberals … the result is the most provocative and clear-sighted history of the party yet … it is a tribute to Pugh's scholarship that almost everybody will learn something from this thoughtful book.' -Sunday Times

'A valuable corrective to some older stereotypes … sheds new light on Labour's progress in the cities, London and Birminghamin particular.' - Literary Review

'Magisterial.' - Good Book Guide

'Anyone who is interested in Labour history will want to read Speak for Britain.' - The Times

'There are riches beneath the surface. Pugh's treatment of Labour's early years makes
nonsense of the "mandate of heaven" theory - the assumption that Labour was bound, sooner or later, to displace the Liberals as the main anti-Conservative party.' -New Statesman
 
'We Danced All Night':
A Social History of Britain between the Wars
  
 

'This is a provocative and entertaining thesis and he does thorough justice to it in a lively account of social life in all its aspects - from divorce and drunkenness to holiday jaunts and health.' - Literary Review

'A beguiling and often thought-provoking book.' - GlasgowHerald

'The great success of Martin Pugh's sparkling new volume is to set the familiar events of the 1920s and 1930s in their proper context and to connect them to longer-term patterns of change … this is social history with a human face … one of those rare books that deserves a wide audience but which will also be required reading for specialists.' - B.B.C. History Magazine

'An extraordinary book [that] reveals how modern society was born between the wars … comprehensive, often astonishing. As Pugh moves from one topic to the next, one has the sense of dirty windows being cleaned, revealing remarkably new views.' - Daily Express

'Comprehensive, vivid and highly readable … richly textured and absorbing.' -Sunday Telegraph

'A fascinating, detailed look at how we lived during the inter-war years.' - Daily Mail

'A fascinating and entertaining read. The detail alone is impressive.' - The Scotsman

'It succeeds in bringing out both the strangeness and the familiarity of this odd period of history … allows us to see a version of ourselves in the culture of the Twenties and Thirties in a way we simply cannot when we look at the elusive Edwardians.' - Daily Telegraph

'A lively, tactile history of inter-war Britain.' - Sunday Times


'Hurrah for the Blackshirts!':
Fascists and Fascism in Britain between the Wars
 

'Hurrah for the Blackshirts!' is scholarly history at its most stimulating and readable.' -Times Literary Supplement

'Superb history of the British fascist movement … will no doubt endure as the definitive account.' - Daily Telegraph

'This bracingly iconoclastic book takes leave of Orwellianism with immense style and offers in effect a radical reinterpretation of British political history from the Edwardian era right up to 1940.' - The Oldie

'Admirable and provocative.' - The Guardian

'Pugh is one of the most well-respected, diligent and honest scholars working in British history today. This book deserves to be read.' - Scotland on Sunday

'This scholarly book shows how widespread fascism was before and in tandem with Mosley's New Party, the British union of Fascists, half the Conservative Party and many royals.' - The Times

'A masterly study.' -The Spectator

'The link between a distinct wing of Conservatism and the Italian form of fascism is substantiated in this outstandingly revelatory book.'Glasgow Herald

'Splendid … [Pugh] meticulously charts the development of fascist ideology inBritain.'
-Irish Times

'Fascism did not just come from the East End toughs. It also came from women, the countryside and from parts of the industrial north. Pugh explores these various strands with a keen eye for detail and a lively sense of the absurd.' - The Independent

'The book demonstrates for the first time the true spread and depth of fascist beliefs -
and the extent to which they were distinctively British.' - Manchester Evening News
 
 
The Pankhursts  

'A cracking story of family, feminist, national and even international politics … Martin Pugh is an expert in the party-political and social history of this period, including women's suffrage. His research is stupendous. The result is an unrivalled history of the Women's Social and Political Union … its suffragette heroines are stunning and scary in equal degrees, dazzling in their courage, startling in their strategic shifts,baffling in the pain they caused each other.' - Sunday Times

'A marvellously gripping narrative with twists and turns of shock and poignancy that are worthy of a three-decker Victorian novel … exposes the full extent of the dysfunctional family that lay beneath the surface of the Pankhursts' public image … Clearly fills an important gap in the historiography… what makes his book so masterly is the apparent ease with which he manages to juggle personal stories with details of the inner workings of the suffragette movement … a major contribution to our understanding.' - Independent on Sunday

'Carefully researched … His scholarship is immaculate, his understanding of the historical background firm.' - Sunday Telegraph

'A significant advance on any previous Pankhurst biographies… With care, clarity and insight we are steered through the well-known events …meticulously researched through a variety of sources, carefully composed and elegantly written. Takes all the previous works on its subject and nudges them off the shelf.' - Irish Times

Pugh's analysis of the dynamics of this rather dysfunctional family is fascinating …The Pankhurstsis an important contribution to our understanding of one of the world's most powerful political dynasties.' - Sunday Herald

'Fills out the myths with an enthralling account of wheeler-dealing and financial acumen that increases our respect for the Pankhursts' political drive and determination enormously. But his book is much more than a constitutional history; it's a family saga as gripping as Galsworthy's Forsytes or Trollope's Pallisers.' - B.B.C.History Magazine