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Greatness

Arthur Marwick

21 October 1982
Attlee 
by Kenneth Harris.
Weidenfeld, 630 pp., £14.95, September 1982, 0 297 77993 1
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... returned to Parliament, and there was a contest for the leadership between Herbert Morrison, Arthur Greenwood and Attlee himself. On the first ballot, Attlee was only four votes ahead of Morrison, but in the second ballot he took most of Greenwood’s votes. Morrison refused to run for the Deputy Leadership, telling the Party that he was too busy on the ...

Secret Meetings

Arthur Marwick

20 May 1982
Battered Cherub 
by Joe Gormley.
Hamish Hamilton, 216 pp., £7.95, April 1982, 0 241 10754 7
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... as a sapper of the Labour vote. He does not consider that the succession to the Presidency of Arthur Scargill portends any great movement to the left on the part of the mineworkers. He comments upon the dominance of middle and upper-class elements in the higher ranks of the Labour Party. Gormley himself blames fate for his involvement in union rather than ...

Boom

Arthur Marwick

18 October 1984
War and Society in Europe 1870-1970 
by Brian Bond.
Leicester University Press/Fontana, 256 pp., £12, December 1983, 0 7185 1227 8
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Wars and Welfare: Britain 1914-1945 
by Max Beloff.
Arnold, 281 pp., £18.95, April 1984, 0 7131 6163 9
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The Causes of Wars, and Other Essays 
by Michael Howard.
Counterpoint, 291 pp., £3.95, April 1984, 0 04 940073 8
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... With others of my own contemporaries,’ Denys Hay once wrote, ‘I certainly found myself in the years after 1945 still preoccupied with aspects of warfare in other times (in my case the later Middle Ages) which would not, I believe, have caught my attention if I had not experienced life between 1939 and 1945.’ Another distinguished Medieval and Renaissance scholar, Hans Baron, first sketched his thesis about the early Florentine Renaissance being triggered by the threat of invasion from other Italian states while he was in London during the Blitz ...

Diary

Arthur Marwick: On Beauty

21 February 1985
... Before my appointment to a visiting scholarship at the Hoover Institution on War, Revolution and Peace was confirmed I had to submit a synopsis of my proposed research. At that time my working title was ‘Physical Appearance and Life Chances in Modern Society’. Already before my departure in late October I had changed the latter phrase to ‘Life Experiences’, having worked out that while the good-looking arouse different responses from those encountered by the less well-favoured and thus have different opportunities and experiences, one cannot say that they are inevitably more successful ...
5 March 1981
The Illustrated Dictionary of British History 
edited by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 319 pp., £8.95, October 1980, 0 500 25072 3
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Who’s Who in Modern History, 1860-1980 
by Alan Palmer.
Weidenfeld, 332 pp., £8.50, October 1980, 0 297 77642 8
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... these, serving common needs in an unpretentious way. ‘History is not a given series of facts,’ Arthur Marwick rightly says in his introduction. The selection and ordering of the facts, in their bearing on each other, is what gives them significance. So what is presented in this dictionary is the fruit of historical interpretation, given in a form ...
5 November 1981
Michael Foot: A Portrait 
by Simon Hoggart and David Leigh.
Hodder, 216 pp., £8.95, September 1981, 0 340 27600 2
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... precedent here): Keir Hardie’s talents were other than those of a Parliamentary chairman; Arthur Henderson was dull; Ramsay MacDonald was both great orator and skilled tactician, though his critics within the Party were numerous well before the First World War broke out. During that war, a number of Labour men served in government (not, of ...

Ex-King Coal

Arthur Marwick

31 March 1988
The History of the British Coal Industry. Vol. IV, 1913-1946: The Political Economy of Decline 
by Barry Supple.
Oxford, 733 pp., £50, December 1987, 9780198282945
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... You never seem to be able to get the numbers right in this industry,’ lamented Sir Norman Siddall, who bravely filled the gap between the Coal Board chairmanship of Sir Derek Ezra, supreme servant and subtle bureaucrat of consensus, and that of Sir Ian MacGregor, vieux terrible of confrontation. ‘There is either too much or too little.’ Not since 1913, in fact, have the figures seemed roughly right ...

Growth

Arthur Marwick

3 June 1982
The Wasting of the British Economy 
by Sidney Pollard.
Croom Helm, 197 pp., £11.95, March 1982, 0 7099 2019 9
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The Global 2000 Report to the President: Entering the 21st Century 
Penguin, 766 pp., £7.95, January 1982, 0 14 022441 6Show More
United Kingdom Facts 
by Richard Rose and Ian McAllister.
Macmillan, 168 pp., £30, February 1982, 0 333 25341 8
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... For almost the whole of the period since 1945 annual rates of economic growth in Britain ran at 2 to 3 per cent: ‘growth was still faster than at any time in history,’ as Professor Pollard reminds us, and ‘led to a widespread rise in prosperity’. Cheers! However, averaged over the same period, the EEC countries managed 4 to 5 per cent per annum, the Americans, starting higher, 3 to 4 per cent, and the Japanese, starting much lower, 9 to 10 per cent ...

For ever Walsall

Angus Calder

21 March 1985
Rural Life in England in the First World War 
by Pamela Horn.
Gill and Macmillan, 300 pp., £25, November 1984, 0 312 69604 3
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Britain in Our Century: Images and Controversies 
by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 224 pp., £12.95, November 1984, 9780500250914
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Labour and Society in Britain: 1918-1979 
by James Cronin.
Batsford, 248 pp., £8.95, August 1984, 0 7134 4395 2
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Women in England 1870-1950: Sexual Divisions and Social Change 
by Jane Lewis.
Wheatsheaf, 240 pp., £16.95, November 1984, 0 7108 0186 6
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... wars of Kenya and Zimbabwe have not shocked the average Briton (or even, it seems, Professor Arthur Marwick) out of a deep trust in some gentle, wise and enduring essence of ‘Britishness’ commonly equated with ‘Englishness’. Stedman Jones went on to point out that Fabianism was part of the continuous British political order, not adverse to ...
16 February 1989
Beauty in History: Society, Politics and Personal Appearance c. 1500 to the Present 
by Arthur Marwick.
Thames and Hudson, 480 pp., £18.95, September 1988, 0 500 25101 0
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... and its reassertion of the best characteristics of British humour – funny, vulgar, true.) Arthur Marwick’s book almost deserves the same put-down. Almost, but not quite, because he’s somewhat less po-faced, if a good deal more prurient, than Kenneth Clark, and perfectly vulgar himself, though not particularly funny, alas. True? Is beauty ...

Facing the Future

Keith Middlemas

17 December 1981
Fifty Years of Political and Economic Planning: Looking Forward, 1931-1981 
edited by John Pinder.
Heinemann, 228 pp., £9.50, June 1981, 0 435 83690 0
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... 20th-century British political élite. In a well-known essay on ‘Middle Opinion in the 1930s’, Arthur Marwick called it ‘the most successful and most enduring of the “planning” groups’. Sparked off by a revolt of journalists on the Saturday Review, and founded in 1931 in the context of world slump and authoritarian solutions to the problems of ...
23 April 1987
The Myriad Faces of War: Britain and the Great War 1914-1918 
by Trevor Wilson.
Polity, 864 pp., £35, September 1986, 9780745600932
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British Strategy and War Aims 1914-1916 
by David French.
Allen and Unwin, 274 pp., £25, September 1986, 0 04 942197 2
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The Old Lie: The Great War and the Public School Ethos 
by Peter Parker.
Constable, 319 pp., £15, March 1987, 0 09 466980 5
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... of the commanders on the Western Front. Over naval affairs the exchanges of heavy fire between Arthur Marder and Stephen Roskill reduced all others to awe-struck silence. On domestic politics Lord Beaverbrook and his acolyte A.J.P. Taylor gave us plenty to be going on with, even before younger specialists like Cameron Hazlehurst began to dissect the ...
17 July 1980
Arguments within English Marxism 
by Perry Anderson.
New Left Books, 218 pp., £3.95, May 1980, 0 86091 727 4
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Capitalism, State Formation and Marxist Theory 
edited by Philip Corrigan.
Quartet, 232 pp., £4.95, May 1980, 0 7043 2241 2
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Writing by Candlelight 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin, 286 pp., £2.70, May 1980, 0 85036 257 1
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... has been saluted as part of the historian’s craft by many different figures from Karl Popper to Arthur Marwick. Yet in this matter as in others the English are not as tolerant as they would like to be thought. Marxist blooms in particular have been summarily attacked as weeds. The hot temper of so many responses to Edward Thompson’s The Making of the ...

X marks the snob

W.G. Runciman

17 May 1984
Caste Marks: Style and Status in the USA 
by Paul Fussell.
Heinemann, 202 pp., £8.95, May 1984, 9780434275007
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... uneasy and therefore middle-class subject), and he permits himself a quotation from Professor Arthur Marwick of the Open University (who knows better but pretends not to) that ‘class is too serious a subject to leave to the social scientists.’ Well – OK, fellas. Vance Packard sells better than Aristotle, and we don’t want to take ourselves ...

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