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The British Liberal Tradition: From Gladstone to Young Churchill, Asquith, and Lloyd George - is Blair Their Heir? (Senator Keith Davey lectures) Paperback – 28 Jul 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 64 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press (28 July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802084540
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802084545
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.5 x 19 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,540,230 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Lord Roy Jenkins, Baron of Pontypool in the County of Gwent, is Chancellor of the University of Oxford, England.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on 18 Jun. 2002
Format: Paperback
Lord Jenkins' political history has a knack of revealing the humanity of the calculating politician in a way which makes us if not entirely sympathetic then a little more understanding. In this very brief book, which is based on his Davey lecture given in Canada, Jenkins surveys the evolution of liberal thought from Gladstone to Blair and asks just how far the accidental birth of the Liberal party (with Gladstone an initially reluctant parent) forshadowed the ubiquity of the liberal political message on the centre-left by our own times. The character of Gladstone, the instinctive reformism and oppportunism of Russell and the careerism of Lloyd George all shaped liberal politics and Jenkins does us the service of tracing the main lines of the interaction of individual character and political ideas in the compass of less than 50 pages.
The book will, however, be chiefly noted for the great contemporary question it poses. Is Blair the inheritor of the (Gladstonian) liberal tradition, Jenkins asks. The book doesn't quite address the question directly - but it does consider (briefly and with little evidence) the claim that the present UK Prime Minister is 'liberal' in instinct and conviction. Jenkins concludes, warily, that Blair is a supporter of the liberal project and his own close contact with Blair as advisor and confidante for many years suggests his conclusion is as much a private wish as a first hand report. However at several points in these pages Jenkins indicates that, while the instinct and judgement may be liberal, the party apparatus and Labour's position on PR prevent the political realignment around these values leading to a reformation of the centre-left in British politics. These pages are often bright and funny in places - which must have cheered his Toronto audience - but the serious and contemporary intent of the book is never far away.
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Format: Paperback
Note that this is just the text of a speech given by Roy Jenkins.
More of a pamphlet than a book.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An interesting short book about Tony Blair and if he was more of a Liberal than a Labour man, but that is another discussion for another time
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