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Liberal History: A concise history of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats


Out of stock



The print version of this booklet is now out of stock. We will be publishing a revised and updated version soon (depending on the date of the anticipated general election), and will update this page as soon as it becomes available.

The Kindle and audio versions are of course still available – see below for details.

350 years of party history in 32 pages

The Liberal Democrat History Group’s booklet, Liberal History: A concise history of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats, is the essential introduction to Liberal history. Now available in print, Kindle and audio versions.

Starting with the earliest stirrings of Liberal thought during the civil wars of the seventeenth century, the booklet takes the reader through the emergence of the Whigs; the growth of radical thought; the coming together of Whigs, radicals and free-trade Peelites in 1859 to form the Liberal Party; the ascendancy of the Victorian Liberals under Gladstone; the New Liberalism of Asquith and Lloyd George and the party’s landslide election victory in 1906; dissension during the First World War and the party’s eclipse by Labour afterwards; the long decades of decline until nadir in the 1950s; successive waves of Liberal revival under Grimond, Thorpe and Steel; the alliance with the SDP and merger in 1988; and the roller-coaster ride of the Liberal Democrats, from near-obliteration in 1989 to entry into government in 2010 to electoral disaster in 2015 and the road to recovery thereafter. Up to date as of summer 2017.

Print version  Full price £3; 20% discount for Journal of Liberal History subscribers; see page 3 of the most recent issue of the Journal for the discount code to apply when ordering this item (not applicable for sale price).

Print version: bulk orders The booklet makes an ideal gift from local parties to their new party members; we can offer a 50 per cent discount for bulk orders of 40 or more copies. To order, click here.

Kindle version  Price £3. Order direct from Amazon. This version up to date as of summer 2018.

Audio version  Order direct from Amazon or Audible or Audiobooks or Apple Books. This version up to date as of summer 2018.

Year of Publication: 2017 / 2018

Published by the Liberal Democrat History Group