Len McCluskey is the standout trade unionist of his era. Head of the giant Unite union for more than a decade, he is a unique and powerful figure on the political stage.
In this major autobiography, McCluskey throws back the curtains on life at the top of the Labour movement—with explosive revelations about his dealings with Keir Starmer, the behind-the-scenes battles of the Corbyn era, his secret Brexit negotiations with Theresa May’s government, the spectacular bust-up with his former friend Tom Watson, and his tortuous relationship with Ed Miliband.
McCluskey is no run-of-the-mill trade unionist. Fiercely political, unflinchingly left wing, he is a true workers’ leader. His politics were formed in Liverpool at a time of dock strikes, the Beatles, and the May 1968 revolution in Paris. An eyewitness to the Hillsborough tragedy, he recounts in harrowing detail searching for his son.
Witty and sharp, McCluskey delivers a powerful intervention, issuing a manifesto for the future of trade unionism and urging the left not to lose sight of class politics.
A central player in a tumultuous period of British political history, McCluskey’s account is an essential—and entertaining—record of our times.
Foreword by Ricky Tomlinson
PART ONE FROM CRADLE TO BRAVE
1 A Liverpool Upbringing
2 The Docks
3 Militancy and Misery
4 The Praetorian Guards
6 Anfield, Heysel and Hillsborough
8 Cool Britannia
9 Come Together
10 Uniting Unite
PART TWO FROM FALKIRK TO FINSBURY PARK
11 Dealing with Miliband
13 The Road to Defeat
14 The Rise of Jeremy Corbyn
15 Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
16 The Chicken Coup
17 A Close Call
19 Labour’s Antisemitism Crisis
20 A Slow-Motion Car Crash
21 The Brexit Election
22 New Management
23 ‘Fighting Back’ Trade Unionism
“Len tells his story as only he can: forthright, confident and witty. What emerges is a hard-hitting assessment of dramatic times, and a message of hope for the future.” — Jeremy Corbyn
“Pulls no punches. An explosive account of life at the top of the Labour Party from Britain’s most important trade union leader.” — Kevin Maguire
“Len’s life story is an inspiration. He lives and breathes solidarity. He is a true workers’ leader.” — Maxine Peake
“Len reminds us what—and who—we’re fighting for. He knows his own mind and isn’t afraid to speak it.” — Zarah Sultana
“The riveting story of a lifetime spent fighting for workers, with lessons for all of us. Len learned the value of solidarity working on the Liverpool docks and it has never left him.” — Dave Ward
“Fascinating… A good story about the way that trade unionism can drastically change people’s lives” — The Guardian
“Len McCluskey lifts lid on secret chats with Starmer” — Express
“Len McCluskey says public could see Labour leader as ‘someone who can’t be trusted’” — The Independent
“Uncompromising and highly critical” — Sky News
“Union firebrand Len McCluskey has launched a blistering attack on Sir Keir Starmer… In a bombshell memoir, the union baron will accuse him of an ‘anti-democratic crackdown on the Left’” — Daily Mail
“Len McCluskey’s parting shot [against Keir Starmer] comes in a memoir, Always Red, which is set to be published on the day of Starmer’s speech at Labour’s annual conference” — The Times