As deputy prime minister of Britain's coalition government during World War II, Clement Attlee became one of the most powerful figures in British politics and subsequently played a crucial role in the reshaping of the post-war party-political landscape. The architect of Labour's entry into the wartime coalition, Attlee came to straddle the workings of government to a unique degree. Unmatched in his range of influence, he dominated party politics; directed a doctrinal struggle within the coalition; and even sought to create the conditions for a cross-party alliance to be maintained after the war. His goal was to carve out a position of greater strength than Labour had ever occupied before and he succeeded when he led his party to power in July 1945. Robert Crowcroft here examines the political leadership of the unsung architect behind the development of wartime politics and the rise of the Labour party. Traditionally seen as a period of unprecedented cooperation between the Labour and Conservative parties, Crowcroft argues that in fact Attlee's influence facilitated a significant shift towards Labour which sowed the seeds for his party's post-war victory.
Attlee's War mounts a challenge to the popular image of Attlee as a reticent collegiate, and unravels his elusive path to power. Shedding new light on an often misunderstood figure, this book will appeal to all those interested in modern British history and the leadership of major political figures.