From the No.1 bestselling author of The Establishment, an urgent analysis of where the Left - and Britain - goes next
'An absorbing, nuanced account of the making of electoral disaster' Gaby Hinsliff, Guardian Books of the Year
'A whodunnit political page-turner' Melissa Benn, New Statesman Books of the Year
We live in an age of upheaval. The global crisis of Covid-19 has laid bare the deep social and economic inequalities which were the toxic legacy of austerity. These revolutionary times are an opportunity for a radical rethink of Britain as we know it, as the politically impossible suddenly becomes imaginable.
And yet, the Left's last attempt to upend the established order and transform millions of lives came to a crashing halt on 12th December 2019, when Jeremy Corbyn led the Labour party to its worst electoral defeat since 1935. In This Land, Owen Jones provides an insider's honest and unflinching appraisal of a movement: how it promised to change everything, why it went so badly wrong, where this failure leaves its values and ideas, and where the Left goes next in the new world we find ourselves in.
He takes us on a compelling, page-turning journey through a tumultuous decade in British politics, gaining unprecedented access to key figures across the political spectrum. It is a tale of high hopes and hubris, dysfunction and disillusionment. There is, Jones urges, no future for any progressive project that does not face up to and learn from its errors. We have the opportunity to build a fairer country and a more equal world, but if our time is to come, then we must learn from our past.
Owen Jones has managed to produce a whodunnit political page-turner and a surprisingly fair account (given that Jones was a player in the Corbyn project) of both an inspiring and tortuous period of Labour history.
An absorbing, nuanced account of the making of electoral disaster.
Very, very powerful ... you will not come away from reading This Land without your understanding of what happened to the Labour Party over the last five years massively enhanced.
For Owen Jones, the drama of these years is almost Shakespearean... Where Jones is strongest, and impressively so, is when he turns his analytical gaze on his own side. His dissection of the anti-Semitism issue is heartfelt and intelligent. His account of the infighting and weakness of the leader's team rings true... He correctly observes that Brexit left Labour on a hook.
Jones has [a hard] task: to assess the failure of a project he championed, in which he was a significant player, and which depended on the work and was damaged by the flaws of people he is close to. It is a far more honest account of those difficulties than is ever given by journalists of the political centre, or the right ... Jones has made a serious attempt to understand the left's weaknesses as something other than the fault of the party's right ... Jones is making a brutal assessment, of the sort too often lacking in the past few years, of what is possible.
Owen Jones is a phenomenon of our time
Writer and political activist Owen Jones shares his standout reads of 2017, from feminism and global politics to the role of Artificial Intelligence in the not-so-distant future