Shepherd, John (2013) Crisis? What crisis? The Callaghan government and the British ‘winter of discontent’. Manchester University Press, Manchester, UK. ISBN 9780719082474

Over thirty years later, the ‘winter of discontent’ of 1978–79 still resonates in British politics. On 22 January 1979, 1.5 million workers were on strike. Industrial unrest swept Britain in an Arctic winter. Militant shop stewards blocked medical supplies to hospitals; mountains of rubbish remained uncollected; striking road hauliers threatened to bring the country to a standstill; even the dead were left unburied. Within weeks, the beleaguered Callaghan Labour government fell from power. In the 1979 general election, Margaret Thatcher became Prime Minister, beginning eighteen years of unbroken Conservative rule.

Based on a wide range of newly available historical sources and key interviews, this full-length account breaks new ground, analysing the origins, character and impact of a turbulent period of industrial unrest. This important study will appeal to all those interested in contemporary history and British politics.

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