political studies

March 2014

416pp

£60.00

hb

978 186057 096 4

Series: Political Studies

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THE WELSH LIBERALS
THE HISTORY OF THE LIBERAL AND LIBERAL DEMOCRAT PARTIES IN WALES

Russell Deacon


'Truly a pioneering volume - a comprehensive, authoritative study of the history of the Liberal Party in Wales from 1868 until the end of the twentieth century. Thoroughly researched and assembled from an   array of disparate source materials, compellingly written, the book fills a distinct gap in the political historiography of modern Wales and Britain.'

Dr J. Graham Jones, former Head of the Welsh Political Archive.

'When the Liberal Party was born, few recognised Wales as a political entity - the north and south having very different outlooks. As Wales developed into a nation, the Liberal Party became the dominant     political force. The History of the Welsh Liberals vividly illustrates the massive fluctuations in the Liberal Party's fortunes in Wales reaching a peak of 31 MPs in 1906, winning all the seats except one, but clinging on to the sole seat of Montgomeryshire in 1966, before beginning a slow recovery. It is a dramatic political story, succinctly told and well explained.'
Dr Alun Wyburn-Powell, Honorary Research Fellow, University of Leicester

'Welsh Liberal Democrats and their predecessors the Liberals have never benefited from entering coalitions with other parties, a new book has concluded.' http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/lib-dems-wales-have-nothing-7005607 

'Fascinating''
Vaughan Roderick (Welsh Affairs Editor BBC Wales), Sunday Supplement, BBC Radio Wales 27th April 2014

Despite being Wales' oldest political party, The Welsh Liberals  is the first comprehensive published history of the Welsh Liberal Party and its successor, the Welsh Liberal Democrat Party.

During the late nineteenth and early twentieth century the Welsh Liberal Party dominated Welsh politics and in the process, the Welsh Liberal Party became the first truly Welsh political party. During this period a new generation of radical and talented politicians emerged from its ranks and who would leave an indelible mark on Wales and the British state.

From 1905 until 1922 Welsh Liberals would hold some of the most senior political position in the British Empire, but by the end of the First World War the Welsh Liberals had passed their political peak. For the next half century it was a story of decline and a struggle for the party's very survival until it once more joined a government in 2000, this time in the National Assembly for Wales.

The Welsh Liberals: The History of the Welsh Liberal and Liberal Democrat Parties charts the highs and lows of an extraordinary party. This comprehensive study includes over 40 interviews with senior figures from within the Welsh Liberal Party, the Welsh SDP and Welsh Liberal Democrat Party and provides the first detailed history of Wales' oldest political party.

Contents:
Wales: The Liberal Nation (1859-1898)
The Liberal Zenith and the
'Golden Age' (1899-1918)
The Legacy Spoilt (1919-1945)
The Brush with Extinction (1945-1959)
The First Truly Welsh Liberal Party (1960-1974)
Fighting on the Margins (1975-1987)
'Hanging on and Finding a Role' (1987-1998)
'From Back Row to Front Row' (1999-2011)

Russell Deacon is an Honorary Research Fellow at Swansea University and a Lecturer at Swansea Metropolitan University and Coleg Gwent. He is also author of The Governance of Wales: The Welsh Office and the Policy Process 1966-1999 (Welsh Academic Press, 2002).

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