Left for Itself, A
The first full length analysis of the rise of left-wing hobbyists, performative radicals and the identity Left.
In the first full length analysis of the rise of left-wing hobbyists, performative radicals and the 'Identity Left', A Left for Itself interrogates the connection between socio-economic realities and politico-cultural views and boldly asks what is a worthy politics, one for the follower count or one for effecting change.
'In the sometimes febrile environment of contemporary left politics, this book is a measured and evaluative contribution. David Swift cuts through the rhetoric of often violent and divisive exchanges to uncover the roots, motivations, diverse character and strengths and weaknesses of the current phenomenon of so-called ‘identity politics’.'
Dr Stephen Meredith
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David Swift rides a coach and horses through the self-indulgence, radical chic and bloviating of too much of today’s British left. ~ Professor John Bew, author of Citizen Clem, winner of the Orwell Prize 2017
This is a fascinating and challenging book that covers a lot of ground in a more than accessible manner. In a field where we have very little to go on - the ideology and nature of Britain's apparently rejuvenated Left - it bristles with both sharp detail and general insight. ~ Professor Glen O'Hara, Oxford Brookes University
David Swift stakes-out a difficult but really important political space in this book. He is of the left but launches an assault on a generational cohort of left-wing political activists and their preoccupations and prejudices. His argument is provocative and his style uncompromising. But the underpinning research is careful and his conclusions important. ~ Professor Andrew Hindmoor, author of What's Left Now?, Head of Politics, University of Sheffield
In the sometimes febrile environment of contemporary left politics, this book is a measured and evaluative contribution. David Swift cuts through the rhetoric of often violent and divisive exchanges to uncover the roots, motivations, diverse character and strengths and weaknesses of the current phenomenon of so-called ‘identity politics’. Ranging from recent work by Fukuyama to the journalistic pages of The Spectator and New Statesman and beyond, the book is an important addition and contribution to this widespread and multi-form debate over the rise, impact and reaction to a newly-emboldened and assertive ‘identity left’. ~ Dr Stephen Meredith, John Antcliffe Archives By-Fellow, Churchill College Cambridge, 2018-19 and Head of Politics, University of Central Lancashire
This book is essential reading for anyone who is interested in the contemporary state of the left. ~ Professor Matthew Goodwin, author of National Populism: the Revolt Against Liberal Democracy
David Swift astutely diagnoses the pathological narcissism at the heart of what he calls the ‘hobbyist left’, which has captured the Labour Party. With its preoccupation with language and virtue-signalling, and scant interest in the concerns and culture of actual working people, today’s middle-class elitist left no longer speaks to the voters who once gave their support to the Labour Party. ~ Professor Eric Kaufmann, author of Whiteshift: Populism, Immigration and the Future of White Majorities