Fabian socialists, social reformers, and historians. Married in 1882, the Webbs formed a partnership of unparalleled significance for the development of left‐wing social policies in Britain. Sidney served on the London County Council from 1892 to 1910, became a Labour MP for Seaham in 1922, becoming president of the Board of Trade in 1924, and as Baron Passfield in 1929 serving briefly as secretary of state for the dominions and colonies.
The Webbs' approach to social reform was gradualist. In the 1930s, however, they became disillusioned with the progress of socialism in Britain and turned their attention to the USSR, which they found so impressive that in their last substantial book, Soviet Communism: A New Civilisation? (1935), they abandoned their piecemeal approach to political and social change.