Based on extensive new research, this volume of essays explores the contrast between Liverpool’s contemporary image and its historical experience. The "shock city" of post-industrial Britain, Liverpool is now identified by a self-defeating image, condemned to failure by a militant micro-culture of truculent defiance, collective solidarity and fatalist humor. Much of the image, however, is media myth, lacking in historical resonance before the city’s recent economic decline. In contrast with its current projection, Liverpool’s past is not well-known. Failing to conform to the main pattern and narrative of modem British history, the city has attracted little attention from historians other than as the exception which proved the rule. These essays seek to redress the balance, to reconstruct a distinctive Liverpool identity in a manner which belies media distortion or historiographical condescension. An exercise in new labor history, this volume illuminates, the complex social history of Liverpool popular politics.