When they buried the Old Warrior there was only one small wreath to go on the coffin... John Hamer Shawcross never forgot that moment. Hamer Shawcross is born into a poor but aspirational working-class family in Manchester. Studious and hard-working, he becomes a socialist activist, goes into politics and rises to becomes part of the privileged upper classes he began by opposing. Hamer's trajectory is mirrored by the rise of the Labour movement in Britain from the mid-19th century to the 1930s. This wonderfully perceptive study of a career politician serves as a telling elegy for the Labour Party.