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The Life of R. H. Tawney [Paperback]

Lawrence Goldman

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This title will be released on October 23, 2014.
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Book Description

23 Oct 2014
R. H. Tawney was the most influential theorist and exponent of socialism in Britain in the 20th century and also a leading historian. Based on papers deposited at the London School of Economics, including a collection of personal material previously held by his family, this book provides the first detailed biography. Lawrence Goldman shows that to understand Tawney's work it is necessary to understand his life.

This biography takes a broadly chronological approach, and uses this framework to examine major themes, including Tawney's political thought and historical writings. Tawney was the most representative of Labour's intellectuals as well as the most influential, and the contradictions he embodied are evident in the general history of British socialism.

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Review

Although there have been earlier studies of Tawney's life and thought that were broadly biographical in structure, Lawrence Goldman's is the first to be based on a full examination of the surviving archives, including family papers hitherto closed to researchers. The resulting book is notably thorough, judicious and fair-minded. It is also - and this is something that can be said of all too few biographies - informed by a disciplined understanding of the main currents of the political, social and economic history that provided the setting for Tawney's work. And, to his great credit, Goldman is not inclined to exaggerate his subject's importance. -- Stefan Collini Times Literary Supplement

About the Author

Lawrence Goldman is Director of the Institute of Historical Research in the University of London, UK. He was previously Fellow and Tutor in Modern History at St. Peter's College, Oxford, and the Editor of the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography between 2004 and 2014.

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