The Life of George Lansbury

The Life of George Lansbury

The Life of George Lansbury

The Life of George Lansbury

Excerpt

I have not concluded this Life with a formal estimate of George Lansbury's place in history, though it would be expected and I had intended to do so. For this I have two reasons. The first is that I think 1951 is too early in time. He belonged to a generation of remarkable men, mainly of working-class origin: Keir Hardie, John Burns, Will Crooks, William Morris, Will Thorne--even Arthur Henderson and H. M. Hyndman--all these were men of similarly great energy and decisive personality. We can begin to recognise certain common features among them; but it is too early, yet, to evaluate how much they have done and how long their work will last. The second reason is personal. I worked with him for many years, and I loved and respected him as I never expect to love and respect a man again. This deep admiration has not, I do believe, prevented me from painting a faithful portrait. But it impedes me from making an abstract and professional appraisal; I think and hope that when the reader has finished my story he will find arise from it automatically all the general reflections that are necessary.

I pass from this to a list of the sources which I have used:

Oral. My thanks are due to four people who read through the whole text of the book and helped me greatly by their criticism and information: My wife Daisy, G.L.'s daughter; my sister, Margaret Cole; William Lansbury, G.L.'s eldest son; Sir Francis Meynell. They are none of them responsible, of course, for anything which appears in the book. I also made great use, naturally, of my own recollections of G.L. I was made foreign sub-editor of the Daily Herald in 1919, and thereafter worked with him, sometimes very closely, until near the end of his life. Many anecdotes and statements in this Life, not otherwise ascribed, were told to me by him. I was assistant editor of Lansbury's Weekly, and prepared most of his books for publication.

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