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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A prime mover of progress, 14 July 2009
This review is from: Arthur Seldon: A Life For Liberty (Hardcover)
It is my earnest belief that the greatest recognition of Arthur Seldon still lies ahead in the future when his pivotal role in the re-emergence of market ideas in Britain will finally be recognised.

This superb biography of Arthur Seldon is a lot like the man himself, modest, self-effacing, congenial yet with a steely determination to promote the principles in which he wholeheartedly believed in and which he held to throughout his life.

I met Arthur Seldon through his ideas and his writing although I did not know it for the longest time. Growing up in Britain in the postwar years it was hard not to be aware of great changes taking place in every walk of life. Following my departure from school and my immersion into the world of work I became interested in both politics and economics and found pamphlets from the Institute of Economic Affairs which, despite any formal training, I was able to read and absorb the contents. In those early years of the 1970s, each pamphlet contained an Introduction, usually signed by "Editor", usually about two pages long which were written with the utmost clarity. The publications were about every possible subject and it was sometimes difficult not to understand why the government did not get the message and change policies.

Later, "Editor" was replaced by Arthur Seldon, and eventually Economic Affairs, under his Editorial direction was essential reading during my first degree. Much later I got to meet the man himself at a Hobart lunch and it was a great shock to be confronted with someone who spoke as he wrote, who was enthusiastic about his work and his subject and life in general and who would go out of his way to explain and debate. He always had time for students and would patiently deal with their questions and comments and equally always had time for those who disagreed and wanted to spar with him. On one occasion he wrote to a national newspaper to urge the Labour Party to establish a think tank of their own and provide the Institute of Economic Affairs with some needed competition.

Colin Robinson has done an exemplary job in bringing this spirit of Arthur to his biography. He has managed to capture the essence of the man and the ideas which he propounded. The book will sit comfortably on my shelves next to highly theoretical texts as it will next to charged polemics, just as Arthur was as comfortable with Austrian economics as he was with public choice and the works of Adam Smith.

Arthur and Marjorie, his wife, were always pleasnt and polite company, at home with the great and the good, the old and the young. They were both young at heart because of their interest in new ideas and arguments. In Arthur Seldon: a life for liberty, Colin Robinson has done us all a sterling service in bringing to the wider public a view of one man who lived his life the way he believed it should be lived: in putting forward his views and arguments to be tested and challenged by others so that he could assess those contrary opinions and overcome them. Through his life and his work he was able to achieve change for the better for his beloved Britain and his fellow countrymen.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Nov 2009 18:31:31 GMT
Sirin says:
Cracking review. A great plug for the book. Makes me want to read it.

In reply to an earlier post on 22 Nov 2011 14:21:11 GMT
Numero Uno says:
"Plug" is the operative word!
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