Selina Todd

Snakes and Ladders

Snakes and Ladders

The great British social mobility myth


'Intensely readable... A stimulating and necessary redress' David Kynaston, Spectator

Politicians say social mobility is real... this book proves otherwise.

From servants' children who became clerks in Victorian Britain, to managers made redundant by the 2008 financial crash, travelling up or down the social ladder has been a fact of British life for more than a century.

Drawing on hundreds of personal stories, Snakes and Ladders tells the hidden history of how people have really experienced that social mobility in both directions. It shows how a powerful elite on the top rungs have clung to their perch, as well as introducing us to the unsung heroes who created more room at the top. As we face political crisis after crisis, Snakes and Ladders argues that only by creating greater opportunities for everyone to thrive can we ensure the survival of our society.

'A fascinating, important book' Mail on Sunday

'A trove of stories of human hope and disappointment' New Statesman

'Fascinating... A rich and well-observed historical account' Financial Times

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