Fame Is The Spur – Howard Spring

An interesting novel published in 1940 which describes the life and travails of the fictional socialist Hamer Shawcross. His early life in the poor parts of Manchester through to his elevation to the Lords. It is something of a critique of the failing of the Labour Party as people are corrupted by the power they achieve. Hamer is always looking after himself rather than the poor he purports to champion. The tale spans the early part of the 20th century through to almost the start of the Second World War, by which time the main characters have experienced all of the key historical events…Hamer’s wife is a suffragette, their son is injured in the First War, his friend’s wife is blinded in an explosion in a munition factory…if it can happen it happens to this group of people. I’d be glad not to know them as it would increase life expectancy hugely. It is though an interesting read, it demonstrates that little has changed with the Labour Party, except that fewer of its leaders are from the working class these days. The contempt for the ‘workers’ is still there. Is it worth the read…I thought so, even though it got very twee towards the end. It’s good not to be a part of it

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