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Michael Young: Social Entrepreneur Hardcover – 21 May 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan (21 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0333750233
  • ISBN-13: 978-0333750230
  • Product Dimensions: 22.4 x 14.9 x 3.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 973,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

'That Briggs is able to draw out the main aspects of Young's politics from such a diverse life is the book's main achievement...This is a long overdue biography and its importance is indicated in the range of scholars who will find it useful. That is, it will be of great value to historians of the postwar Labour government, the development of academic sociology and the rise of the social sciences, education policy, orgainized consumerism and consumer politics, and notions of social democracy.' - Matthew Hilton, The Economic History Review

'...a stimulating introduction to a major British cultural figure.' - Choice

'Immortalises the achievements of a figure without whose creative ideas we might never have had either the Consumers' Association or the Open University.' - The Sunday Times

'Asa Briggs has done us a great service with this densly written biography. Six years in the making, with the close collaboration of its subject, it presents his work in its various contemporary contexts, which incidentally will make the book an invaluable source for those studying the political, social and educational history of the past half century.' - Peter Cox, Times Higher Education Supplement

'An invaluable source for those studying the political, social and educational history of the past half century.' - The Times Higher Educational Supplement

About the Author

ASA BRIGGS is President of the Social History Society, of the Victorian Society and of the Ephemera Society. He is a Fellow of both the British and American Academies and was Chancellor of the Open University from 1978-1994.

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By buddingpasha on 26 July 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is truly an amazing biography of Michael Young: possibly the greatest influence on postwar Social thinking and policy in the UK. I only found out about this biography from a very fitting BBC Newsnight tribute on the day of Micheal Young's death.
This is not an uncritical biography but certainly tells us about the remarkable achievements of Lord Young, from his days at the LSE, the inestimatable contribution to 1945 Labour Party Manifesto that shaped the Welfare State, through to his work in founding The Consumers Association and presenting the case for Social Entrepreneurship that forms a lot of the Third Way.
This is also not just a list of achiements. The context is set very firmly. We hear of his lifelong battle with asthma and also the extraordinary details of Lord Young's family.
Michael Young's achievements are his best tribute, but I wish more people knew about such a significant figure who figures in our daily life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. G. Hassan on 20 Sept. 2008
Format: Hardcover
Michael Young is truly one of the most inspiring and original thinkers of the centre-left in Britain, and not just a thinker, but a do-er. Why this man isnt a household name, but as the old Chinese quote goes - something alone the lines of 'And as for the best leaders, the people say they did it themselves'.

Young wrote Labour's 1945 election manifesto, played a part in setting up The Consumer Association and Open University, and contributed towards the development of ideas on 'civic entrepreneurship' and 'meritocracy'.

This last one is perhaps his greatest achievement. Young gave the modern age the word 'meritocracy' in a 1958 essay and did not see it as an attractive, emboldening concept. His original concept of 'meritocracy' was a society based on a narrow notion of 'merit' in which the winners - filled with smugness, conceit and status - see their success as validating themselves, and the failures of others - as about their shortcomings.

Young, a centre-left thinker and do-er all his life poses questions Labour and Tory with their meritorous narrow ideas would rather avoid.
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