The Equal Opportunities Revolution

James Heartfield


At the start of the 1980’s no employer had heard of an “equal opportunities policy” – by the end three-quarters of all those in work were covered by one. This is the story of the “equal opportunities revolution” at work. It explains why bosses took equal opportunities on board just as they were tearing up union rights at work. It asks why greater rights led to greater inequality, and why advances in race and sex equality ran alongside social inequality. It shows how the equal opportunities revolution became the general model for workplace relations in the decades that followed, and how it did not challenge, but rather perfected the liberalization of labor law. The right won the economic war, the left won the culture war – and this book explains how.

About the Author

Lifelong campaigner for social justice James Heartfield writes and teaches about the history of the British Empire and public policy. He wrote The British and Foreign Anti-Slavery Society: A History (2016) and Who’s Afraid of the Easter Rising? (2015, with Kevin Rooney).

The Equal Opportunities Revolution will be published in May 2017. Pre-Order now: Amazon UK //Amazon US // Barnes and Noble // Blackwell’s 

On sale: May 2017
PB ISBN: 9781910924921 ($14.95 US/ $16.95 CAN)

eBook ISBN: 9781910924839 ($8.99 US & CAN)