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Ministers and Officials

Leo Pliatzky, 22 May 1980

The Government of the United Kingdom: Political Authority in a Changing Society 
by Max Beloff.
Weidenfeld, 438 pp., £6.95, March 1980, 0 297 77618 5
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... servants have a vested interest in preserving collectivism ...’ It is a view which Professor Beloff himself has done something to encourage in another context – in a lecture delivered to a meeting of the Conservative Political Centre in October 1979, on the occasion of the Conservative Party Conference, which was later printed as a pamphlet on ‘The ...


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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... sections of their books. How far things have changed can be seen from the title of Max Beloff’s Wars and Welfare: Britain 1914-1945, an excellent textbook, if you like that sort of thing, of political and diplomatic history. The great boom in studies of war and society did not come till the mid-Seventies. Even then it was far from clear ...

Paul and Penny

Julian Symons, 25 October 1990

Paul Scott: A Life 
by Hilary Spurling.
Hutchinson, 429 pp., £16.99, October 1990, 0 09 173984 5
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Paul Scott’s Raj 
by Robin Moore.
Heinemann, 246 pp., £18.50, October 1990, 0 434 47588 2
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... which he received a seven-year prison sentence. The anecdote is not a mere personal irrelevance. Max Beloff, who admired the ‘Raj Quartet’ and met Scott more than twenty years later, thought he looked like an accountant or a provincial businessman rather than a writer. And he was a successful businessman, a fine organiser and a literary agent who in ...


A.J.P. Taylor: An Unexpected Experience, 6 December 1984

... History of England’. Volume Ten will be War and Welfare 1914-1945 and will be written by Max Beloff. For some years I occupied a house next door to the artist William, commonly known as Bobby, Roberts. Bobby Roberts was the most taciturn person I have ever known. I had been his neighbour for twenty years before he would occasionally acknowledge ...

Leave it to the teachers

Conrad Russell, 20 March 1997

... unity between people who would not normally have agreed with each other in a thousand years. Max Beloff, speaking in the House of Lords, once exclaimed in grief: ‘I agree with everything said by the noble Baroness Lady Blackstone – a fate I never thought would befall me.’ He will not suffer that fate for much longer (provided Baroness ...


Susannah Clapp, 23 July 1987

A Life with Alan: The Diary of A.J.P. Taylor’s Wife, Eva, from 1978 to 1985 
by Eva Haraszti Taylor.
Hamish Hamilton, 250 pp., £14.95, June 1987, 0 241 12118 3
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The Painted Banquet: My Life and Loves 
by Jocelyn Rickards.
Weidenfeld, 172 pp., £14.95, May 1987, 0 297 79119 2
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The Beaverbrook Girl 
by Janet Aitken Kidd.
Collins, 240 pp., £12.95, May 1987, 0 00 217602 5
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... that there was – ‘which was something Alan did not know’. She also speaks her mind. When Max Beloff takes the huff during lunch and refuses to talk to her, it is ‘a great piece of luck for me’; she notes that Taylor and E.H. Carr ‘once executed together’ one of Beloff’s students. Like her ...

World’s Greatest Statesman

Edward Luttwak, 11 March 1993

Churchill: The End of Glory 
by John Charmley.
Hodder, 648 pp., £30, January 1993, 9780340487952
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Churchill: A Major New Assessment of his Life in Peace and War 
edited by Robert Blake and Wm Roger Louis.
Oxford, 517 pp., £19.95, February 1993, 0 19 820317 9
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... finest chapter), Henry Pelling on ‘... and the Labour Movement’ (Commies are included), Max Beloff on ‘... and Europe’, and Sarvepalli Gopal on ‘... and India’ – Gopal unaccountably holds a grudge against WSC, merely because WSC lucubrated darkly on Indians and India until 1947 at least, while never even visiting the place after 1897 ...

Coalition Monsters

Colin Kidd, 6 March 2014

In It Together: The Inside Story of the Coalition Government 
by Matthew D’Ancona.
Penguin, 414 pp., £25, October 2013, 978 0 670 91993 2
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... principal, from 1974 until 1979, was the Liberal academic – later a devoted Thatcherite – Max Beloff. He was succeeded by Peacock, who had long since left the Liberal Party, but remained an exponent of the anti-collectivism characteristic of the Unservile State Group. In 1985 Thatcher chose Peacock to chair an investigation into public ...

The Left’s Megaphone

Eric Hobsbawm, 8 July 1993

Harold Laski: A Political Biography 
by Michael Newman.
Macmillan, 438 pp., £45, March 1993, 0 333 43716 0
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Harold Laski: A Life on the Left 
by Isaac Kramnick and Barry Sheerman.
Hamish Hamilton, 669 pp., £25, June 1993, 0 241 12942 7
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... It would not be too much to say,’ wrote the otherwise unsympathetic Max (now Lord) Beloff after Harold Laski’s death in 1950, ‘that ... the future historian may talk of the period between 1920 and 1950 as the “The Age of Laski.”’ Thirty-seven years later a leading historian of the Labour Party observed that ‘Laski’s time and reputation have gone into almost total eclipse ...

A Cézanne-Like Vision of Peaches

Lorna Scott Fox, 30 March 2000

Dreaming with His Eyes Open: A Life of Diego Rivera 
by Patrick Marnham.
Bloomsbury, 368 pp., £12.99, November 1999, 0 7475 4450 6
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Diego Rivera: The Detroit Industry Murals 
by Linda Bank Downs.
Norton, 202 pp., £35, March 2000, 0 393 04529 3
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... romantically in love for the first and last time with a Russian émigré artist called Angelina Beloff, and invented himself as a Character – burly savage with Mexican walking stick. It’s a neglected period of his life that deserves the space allocated here, even if some of Marnham’s assessments are cavalier. He is right to say that it was ...

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