Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics
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Richard Seymour’s major new book, Corbyn: The Strange Rebirth of Radical Politics, analyses how Corbyn rose to the head of the Labour Party, and his prospects for staying there. On the publisher’s website we read:
Jeremy Corbyn, the ‘dark horse’ candidate for the Labour leadership, won and won big. With a landslide in the first round, this unassuming antiwar socialist crushed the opposition, particularly the Blairite opposition.
For the first time in decades, socialism is back on the agenda–and for the first time in Labour’s history, it controls the leadership. The party machine couldn’t stop him. An almost unanimous media campaign couldn’t stop him. It is as if their power, like that of the Wizard of Oz, was always mostly illusion. Now Corbyn has one chance to convince the public to support his reforming ambitions.
Where did he come from, and what chance does he have?
This book tells the story of how Corbyn’s rise was made possible by the long decline of Labour and a deep crisis of British democracy. It surveys the makeshift coalition of trade unionists, young and precarious workers, and students, who rallied to Corbyn.
It shows how a novel social media campaign turned the media’s ‘Project Fear’ on its head, making a virtue of every accusation they threw at him.
And finally it asks, with all the artillery that is still ranged against Corbyn, and given the crisis-ridden Labour Party that he has inherited, what it would mean for him to succeed.
Liam Young: At last, Jeremy Corbyn gets the biography he deserves.