The 'sequel' to his best-selling Classes and Cultures, Ross McKibbin's latest book is a powerful reinterpretation of British politics in the first decades of universal suffrage. What did it mean to be a 'democratic society'? To what extent did voters make up their own minds on politics or allow elites to do it for them? Exploring the political culture of these extraordinary years, Parties and People shows that class became one
of the principal determinants of political behaviour, although its influence was often surprisingly weak. McKibbin argues that the kind of democracy that emerged in Britain was far from inevitable-as much historical
accident as design-and was in many ways highly flawed.