James Chuter Ede

Humane Reformer and Politician

Stephen Hart

Date Published :
April 2021
Publisher :
Pen and Sword
Illustration :
16 black and white illustrations
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Binding : Hardback
ISBN : 9781526783721

Dimensions : 9.25 X 6 inches
Stock Status : In stockPages : 352


James Chuter Ede (1882-1965) served the longest term of office as Home Secretary in the last 200 years, three weeks more than Theresa May. He is the only senior member of Attlee's legendary 1945 cabinet not yet to have found a biographer. His contribution to that government - and in Robert Harris's words, "We still live in the society shaped by Clement Attlee" - although largely unsung, was immense.

Alongside towering achievements such as Bevan's NHS, his own measures, in administrative, legal and social reform, did much to set the seal on Labour's reforming program, including the Criminal Justice Act 1948, paving the way for the abolition of capital punishment. Previously, working with RA Butler, he provided a major contribution to the Education Act 1944. Equally interesting for historians and readers of history is how Ede's life and career present a political, cultural, and social account, in his journey from Victorian family life with a Liberal background, through Cambridge and the Unitarian religion, to Labour politics, working in education and local government. He represented suburban Mitcham and then industrial South Shields in Parliament, where his performances were legendary in an age of oratory - low-key, yet cutting and decisive. This will be an important contribution to the burgeoning interest in the historiography of post World War II Labour Britain.

About The Author

STEPHEN HART obtained his PhD at Aston University, and followed a successful career as a solicitor specializing in commercial law. He shares some of his subject's experience, coming from suburban Surrey and studying at the same Cambridge College - Christ's - for which he wrote the page on Ede in its Distinguished Members website. He has also been involved in Labour Party politics, as local councilor and in Parliamentary elections.

Similar Titles