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Welfare in America

William Plowden, 11 July 1991

American Social Welfare Policy: A Structural Approach 
by Howard Karger and David Stoesz.
Longman, 371 pp., £18.95, November 1990, 0 8013 0193 9
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America’s Misunderstood Welfare State 
by Theodore Marmor, Jerry Mashaw and Philip Harvey.
Basic Books, 268 pp., $22.95, October 1990, 9780465001224
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The American Prospect 
edited by Paul Starr and Robert Kuttner.
New Prospect, 168 pp., $31
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... Seventies’. The term was further defined, and given academic respectability, by the sociologist William Julius Wilson. Taking broadly the same groups, he characterised them as ‘that heterogeneous grouping of families and individuals who are outside the mainstream of the American occupational system’. Wilson argued that as the middle class and the ...

Draining the Think Tank

Martin Pugh, 24 November 1988

British Social Trends since 1900: A Guide to the Changing Social Structure of Britain 
edited by A.H. Halsey.
Macmillan, 650 pp., £45, October 1988, 0 333 34521 5
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Inside the Think Tank: Advising the Cabinet 1971-1983 
by Tessa Blackstone and William Plowden.
Heinemann, 258 pp., £14.95, September 1988, 9780434074907
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Lobbying: An Insider’s Guide to the Parliamentary Process 
by Alf Dubs.
Pluto, 228 pp., £12.50, October 1988, 0 7453 0137 1
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... at a crucial stage in British history. Mrs Thatcher, as the account by Blackstone and Plowden suggests, had no such interest in a free currency of ideas. One of her earliest actions was to insist that the members of the Think Tank provide a list of all their outside contacts. This attitude was wholly at odds with the idea of the Think Tank as a ...

Advised by experts

David Worswick, 21 December 1989

The Economic Section, 1939-1961: A Study in Economic Advising 
by Alec Cairncross and Nita Watts.
Routledge, 372 pp., £40, May 1989, 0 415 03173 7
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The Robert Hall Diaries. Vol. I: 1947-1953 
edited by Alec Cairncross.
Unwin Hyman, 400 pp., £40, May 1989, 9780044452737
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... were taking place. Following the fuel crisis in February 1947, the Government appointed Edwin Plowden as Chief Planning Officer and gave him a Central Economic Planning Staff. In September, following the convertibility crisis, Stafford Cripps was made Minister of Economic Affairs, and within two months had also become Chancellor. So the planning minister ...

One, Two, Three, Eyes on Me!

George Duoblys, 5 October 2017

... of ‘progressive’ education methods that rose in the 1960s and 1970s, propelled by the 1967 Plowden Report on primary education, which held that ‘“finding out” has proved to be better for children than “being told”,’ and that the most successful schools had dissolved the distinction between ‘work’ and ‘play’. It recommended ...

Sunny Days

Michael Howard, 11 February 1993

Never Again: Britain 1945-51 
by Peter Hennessy.
Cape, 544 pp., £20, September 1992, 0 224 02768 9
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Churchill on the Home Front 1900-1955 
by Paul Addison.
Cape, 493 pp., £20, November 1992, 0 224 01428 5
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... could have produced any better or more effective public servants than Oliver Franks, Edwin Plowden, Robert Hall, Edward Bridges, Alec Cairncross, Edward Hall-Patch, Richard Hopkins and Roger Makins, to name only a few of the ‘mandarins’ who served the Labour Government so loyally. Therein lay the problem, however. They did what their Labour masters ...

Get the placentas

Gavin Francis: ‘The Life Project’, 2 June 2016

The Life Project: The Extraordinary Story of Our Ordinary Lives 
by Helen Pearson.
Allen Lane, 399 pp., £20, February 2016, 978 1 84614 826 2
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... abandoned. One of​ the earliest cohort studies was conducted in the 1830s by the statistician William Farr, who, working from the Office of the Registrar General, compiled data on mortality figures for various demographic groups. He showed that nearly one in seven babies died within a year of being born, and in 1841 calculated the death rates in ...

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