The Fabian Society was founded in the early 1880s. Its members included Sidney and Beatrice Webb. Bernard Shaw, H. G. Wells and, for a time, the remarkable Annie Besant. From its position somewhere between Marxist socialism and Radical Liberalism it was able to exercise pressure on many political organisations and among its indirect achievements were the founding of the London School of economics, the Legislation for Poor Law Reform, and the introduction of Old Age Pensions. This book is both a critical exposition of Fabian Socialism and an analysis of its role in English politics. Dr McBriar explains the Society's origins, discusses its contribution to economics and to historical and social theory, and examines its views on the collectivist state, its attitude to international problems, and its approach to the fundamental questions of political philosophy. He then goes on to assess the influence of the Fabians on the politics of London government and the policies of the Liberal party, the Independent Labour Party and the Labour Party up to the conference of 1918.