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Chris Renwick’s brilliant “Bread For All” explains the creation of the welfare state

And correctly implies that Labour—including the current leader Jeremy Corbyn—is more the product of David Ricardo and Jeremy Bentham than Karl Marx and William Morris

By Jon Cruddas  

Bread For All: The Origins of the Welfare State

by Chris Renwick (Allen Lane, £20)

Chris Renwick begins with a revealing anecdote. On 16th February 1943, William Beveridge listened to parliamentarians discussing his famous report that sought to establish a “comprehensive policy of social progress,” before travelling to deliver the annual Eugenics Society Lecture in memory of the Victorian statistician Francis Galton.

Bread for All anchors the creation of the welfare state deep within 19th-century science. The post-war reforms to social insurance, health, education and local government need to be understood in…

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