The Failure of Political Extremism in Inter-War Britain by Andrew Thorpe

The Failure of Political Extremism in Inter-War Britain by Andrew Thorpe (Editor) is a very short book, less than 100 pages, about the extremism in the 1920s and 1930s. I read it for my studies even though I didn’t intend to. I started to read a chapter and then finished it in one sitting.

The Failure of Political Extremism in Inter-War Britain by Andrew Thorpe

What I loved is that it looks at both the right and the left, the moderate and the extreme political movements. As each chapter is written by another historian, the style is different. The chapters are:

Andrew Thorpe – The Only Effective Bulwark Against Reaction and Revolution: Labour and the Frustration of the Extreme Left

Harry Harmer – The Failure of the Communists: The National Unemployed Worker’s Movement, 1921-1939: A Disappointing Success

Bruce Coleman – The Conservative Party and the Frustration of the Extreme Right

Richard Thurlow – The Failure of British Fascism

It offers a clear analysis and I would highly recommend the book if you are studying the period. If not, it might be a bit too boring and fact-focused for a general reader. I gave it 4 stars because I felt the chapter on communism, while very interesting, was a bit too specific for a book of this length. It was interesting, but, for me, it was not as good as the other three chapters, mainly because of the focus and not for the quality of the writing.

The Failure of Political Extremism in Inter-War Britain by Andrew Thorpe

Details about the picture: –
My rating: 4/5 Stars
Would I recommend it: yes
Published by: 1989
Year it was published: University of Exeter Press
Format: Paperback
Genre(s): History – Politics
Pages: 92

About the author: Andrew Thorpe is Professor of Modern History and Pro Vice Chancellor and Executive Dean of the College of Humanities at the University of Exeter.
Website & Social Media Links: –



2 thoughts on “The Failure of Political Extremism in Inter-War Britain by Andrew Thorpe”

  • Communism, Conservatism or Fascism – Let me think about that one for a second – I’ll take Conservatism every time and I’m not sure which of the other two is the worst option?

    I could probably cope with reading this book as it has so few pages, not such easy reading on a much larger scale though I’m sure!

    • For me, communism is worse than fascism, but I’m biased. It’s a good book for students, but on the dry side.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.