Edoardo Grendi started his career as a labour historian. During the last Fifties and the beginnings of the Sixties, he completed his studies at the London School of Economics, preparing a PhD thesis about the making of the British Labour Party in the period 1880-1920. During those years he developed a strong interest towards sociology and social sciences in general. From his work of research Grendi derived a book, "L' avvento del laburismo" (published in Italy in 1964), which can be read as a methodological proposal to assess a new perspective for the study of labour history. In his book, Grendi mixed the analysis of the regional basis of the British Labour movement with those of the changing structure of industrial relations and of the role played by the socialist intellectuals. But this approach was too innovative and provocative to gain the attention and the understanding of the Italian labour historians, at that time deeply involved in Marxist ideology and political debates.