The Town that Was Murdered

Ellen Wilkinson


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The Merlin Press Ltd
8 August 2019
ISBN: 9780850367492
282 pages

From the publisher

With an introduction by Matt Perry

This well-researched survey of Jarrow, the town that gave its name to the Jarrow march, describes local and labour history, the impact of poverty and the misery of life on state benefits. It focuses on shipbuilding and on the combined power of city and bank finance, and British and foreign industry magnates, who destroyed jobs and drove local firms into bankruptcy.
First published by the Left Book Club in 1939, this book helped foster support for the post-war welfare state and the Labour government of 1945. It is an historical document, but as big money relocates and lets industries die, it still resonates today.

Ellen Wilkinson (1891-1947) was a key figure in the socialist and feminist movement. She was born in Manchester and became the first woman on the city council. Her novel Clash (published by Merlin Press) documents experiences at the time of the general strike in 1926. She supported women's suffrage and became the Labour MP for Jarrow in November 1935. She was the first woman in the role of Minister of Education, in the 1945 Labour government.

Dr Matt Perry is a reader in labour history at Newcastle University and author of 'Red Ellen' Wilkinson: Her Ideas, Movements and World and Bread and Work: the experience of unemployment 1918-1939. Paperback