It is a measure of Murphy's success that this analysis first published in 1934, should have once again acquired a contemporary interest and significance.
In this book, Murphy considers the rule and success of the revolutionary left fifty years ago and explains its later isolation. He focuses on the syndicalism before the First World War, on the wartime shop stewards' movement and on what happened to them after the war.
The author, John Thomas Murphy, was a key figure in this first shop stewards' movement, a founder member of the Communist Party of Great Britain. and one of its leaders until he left it twelve years later.