This Land, The Story of a Movement by Owen Jones: Honest account of Corbyn’s failure

Book review: Commentator and activist writes with enthusiasm and pace

“Jeremy Corbyn provided a political voice and pole of attraction for the growing number of people – especially the young – disillusioned with mainstream politics.” Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

“Jeremy Corbyn provided a political voice and pole of attraction for the growing number of people – especially the young – disillusioned with mainstream politics.” Photograph: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

The 2015 election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the British Labour Party was, for many of us, a moment of hope in an otherwise bleak UK political landscape. A lifelong democratic socialist and thorn in the side of Tory and New Labour leaders, Corbyn was never meant to lead the party he had devoted his life to. But in that wonderful way that politics often surprises even the most seasoned of observers, the improbable happened. After almost 40 years on the margins of the party, the Labour left was back in charge, almost.

Owen Jones is a commentator, activist and Labour Party member. He was a former staffer for veteran Labour left-winger and Corbyn’s shadow chancellor John McDonnell from 2005 to 2008. This Land: The Story of a Movement is Jones’ open and bravely honest account of the rise and fall of the Corbyn project. It is written as a personal reflection from an active, if at times reluctant, supporter of Corbyn the man.

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