By Rev Professor David Benjamin A Rees
Dr D Ben Rees has brought to life the powerful and well-known Bessie Braddock who made politics attractive for 50 years on Mersyside. She inherited from her mother, Mary Bamber, a Scot, her socialism and strengthened her determination to make life better for the working class of Liverpool by her partnership with her husband Jack Braddock, a native of Hanley and leader of the Labour party in the city from 1948 till his sudden death in 1963. Dr Rees is very critical of both their involvement in the drowning of the Tryweryn valley in Wales but he also in an interesting manner indicates their political journey from Communism to the Hard Left and finally as both right wingers. Her role as MP for Liverpool Exchange 1945-1970 has been well documented, in particular her disagreements with her officers over Bevanism in the 1950s. This is a first class appraisal of a legendary figure.