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Following campaigning fifty years ago, the Albemarle Report established the first modern Youth Service. This is now being dismantled and this passionate and polemical book calls for a new culture for youth work, drawing on the best of youth work's past. Doug Nicholls, a professional and trade union leader of youth workers for over thirty years, identifies what youth workers have achieved and which major changes must take place if their practice is to keep up with the radically altered world. The book distils the author's unique and extensive experience to look at the political and economic contexts, and the new disorder of inequality. Against these he sets the ideas of youth work and public services and the struggles for them. He argues for a new self awareness amongst youth workers on class, professionalism, trade unionism, socialism and the state. He redefines reflective practice, leadership and completely debunks the idea of positive activities as a diversion from political education. This accessible and challenging book is essential reading for students and practitioners and policy makers.