The Dark Knight and the Puppet Master

Chris Clarke author

Format: Paperback

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd

Published: 5th Nov '20



Available, normally delivered within 3-6 days.

Combative but constructive, The Dark Knight and the Puppet Master makes the case for pluralism and questions the premise of Corbynism. Rather than a call for 'faux harmony', it's an attempt to break the deadlock - providing a route-map for the centre left, an explanation to the far left, and the foundations for a genuine debate between the two.

'A splendid critique' James O'Brien, Times Literary Supplement

'Richly nuanced, the most stimulating book I have read on Labour in ages' Martin Kettle, Guardian

'A brilliant book ... a reading of left-wing politics that suggests a road ahead' Independent

A 'dark knight' conflict between good and evil; control by elite puppet masters; nostalgia for a golden age: these are the core myths of populism. And these narratives, argues Chris Clarke, have seduced the Left in Britain, causing bitter division and electoral disaster. Only by breaking this narrative spell and moving towards pluralism can Labour hope to fix itself - and to one day hold power again.

Previously published by Rowman & Littlefield and Policy Network under the title Warring Fictions

Richly nuanced, the most stimulating book I have read on Labour in ages. -- Martin Kettle * The Guardian *
A brilliant book ... a reading of left-wing politics that suggests a road ahead. -- John Rentoul * Independent *
Wide-ranging, clever and original, it's a vital read for anyone interested in not just left populism, but any sort of populism at all. -- Andrew Sparrow * The Guardian *
A splendid critique of left-wing populism and Labour's electoral woes ... a thesis that convincingly accounts for the defeats of leaders as outwardly disparate as Michael Foot, Neil Kinnock and Ed Miliband, not to mention Jeremy Corbyn and, perhaps ultimately, his successor. -- James O'Brien * Times Literary Supplement *
Chris Clarke's thought-provoking examination of the populist issues that have bedevilled the modern left is a bracing corrective to complacency. This dismantling of myths and memes alike, along with dispelling the belief that the left has any kind of monopoly on morality, is an essential read and a reminder that Keir Starmer has quite a job on his hands. -- Alexander Larman * The Observer *
The best book written about the Labour Party in recent years ... a must read for those of us wanting the Labour Party to become once again a Party of Government. -- Douglas Alexander, former Minister of State for Trade
A highly original take on Labour mythology and how this impacts the party's ability to connect with the voters ... offers one of the most innovative explanations of how Labour has lost its way over the past decade. -- Anthony Broxton * The Critic *

ISBN: 9780141994352

Dimensions: 198mm x 129mm x 20mm

Weight: 258g

352 pages