This book offers the first full analysis of the Social Democratic Federation's (SDF's) history and is essential reading for historians of the Labour Movement. The SDF was the pioneer of the Socialist revival in the 1880s, Britain's first avowedly Marxist party and an important component of the Communist Party of Great Britain. As such, it represents a crucial strand in late nineteenth- and twentieth-century English political history. Although critical, Dr Crick dismisses the stereotype of a sectarian and dogmatic organization attempting to force a foreign ideology onto an unreceptive audience. Blending the national picture with a detailed study of the party in Lancashire and Yorkshire, he reveals an organization whose members contributed far more to the formation of local politics than is generally realized. They produced a generation of working-class militants, pioneered forms of social protest and made available for the first time in English a number of Marxist classics.