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Stanley Baldwin : conservative leadership and national values /
Philip Williamson.
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
description
xvi, 378 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.
ISBN
0521432278 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
imprint
Cambridge ; New York : Cambridge University Press, 1999.
isbn
0521432278 (hardback)
catalogue key
3187850
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. 362-371) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2000-02:
Williamson provides a major reassessment of the career and significance of Stanley Baldwin, a three-time prime minister and the dominant figure in interwar British politics. He dismisses the prevalent view of Baldwin as the unimaginative, passive beneficiary (along with his Conservative Party) of a popular yearning for stability after the upheaval of WW I, arguing instead that Baldwin faced novel challenges (labor conflict, economic crisis) under turbulent circumstances. On the basis of a close study of Baldwin's speeches and writings, Williamson demonstrates that he was instrumental in staking out a middle ground of constitutionalism and an ethos of service to the nation that could both neutralize the extremists at either end of the political spectrum and embrace, even educate, the inexperienced, unpredictable electorate enfranchised by the reforms of 1918 and 1928. Not a conventional biography but a series of trenchant thematic essays, this book systematically restores Baldwin to an active, creative role in the formation of a Conservative public doctrine attuned to the demands of political democracy. It persuasively links his early experiences in the family firm to his later career and only rarely seems unduly sympathetic to its subject. For anyone interested in modern Britain or political languages. Upper-division undergraduates and above. F. Coetzee; George Washington University
Reviews
Review Quotes
'... a masterpiece of craftsmanship, insight and persuasion ... the best book on Baldwin ... Williamson speaks with unrivalled authority ... of general importance about politics in modern societies.' The Spectator
'... a masterpiece of craftsmanship, insight and persuasion ... the best book on Baldwin ... Williamson speaks with unrivalled authority ... of general importance about politics in modern societies.'The Spectator
‘… a masterpiece of craftsmanship, insight and persuasion … the best book on Baldwin … Williamson speaks with unrivalled authority … of general importance about politics in modern societies.’The Spectator
'... ambitious ... Williamson fulfils his intention to demonstrate a more productive method of studying a politician's career than is usually supplied by the standard life.' London Review of Books
'... ambitious ... Williamson fulfils his intention to demonstrate a more productive method of studying a politician's career than is usually supplied by the standard life.'London Review of Books
‘… ambitious … Williamson fulfils his intention to demonstrate a more productive method of studying a politician’s career than is usually supplied by the standard life.’London Review of Books
'... a valuable addition to the literature on pre-1945 politics.' Anthony Howard, New Statesman
'... a valuable addition to the literature on pre-1945 politics.'Anthony Howard, New Statesman
‘… a valuable addition to the literature on pre-1945 politics.’Anthony Howard, New Statesman
'Baldwin is the best book yet written about its subject.' The Times
'Baldwin is the best book yet written about its subject.'The Times
‘Baldwin is the best book yet written about its subject.’The Times
'... outstanding ...' Kenneth O Morgan, The Independent
'... outstanding ...'Kenneth O Morgan, The Independent
‘… outstanding …’Kenneth O Morgan, The Independent
'Philip Williamson['s] ... meticulously researched and thoughtful work ... contains many insights and fascinating revelations.' Ben Pimlott, The Guardian
'Philip Williamson['s] ... meticulously researched and thoughtful work ... contains many insights and fascinating revelations.'Ben Pimlott, The Guardian
‘Philip Williamson[’s] … meticulously researched and thoughtful work … contains many insights and fascinating revelations.’Ben Pimlott, The Guardian
"...this is a valuable book that must be compulsory reading for any student of inter-war Britain. Baldwin the man - the complicated, complex man - emerges from its pages, full stop." The International History Review
'Williamson argues his case convincingly, with a superb mastery of the primary sources ... His new study puts the three-times premier back at centre-stage, as the most important politician in interwar Britain.' Robert Pearce, History Today
'Williamson argues his case convincingly, with a superb mastery of the primary sources ... His ... study puts the three-times premier back at centre-stage, as the most important politician in interwar Britain.' History Today
'Williamson argues his case convincingly, with a superb mastery of the primary sources ... His ... study puts the three-times premier back at centre-stage, as the most important politician in interwar Britain.'History Today
‘Williamson argues his case convincingly, with a superb mastery of the primary sources … His … study puts the three-times premier back at centre-stage, as the most important politician in interwar Britain.’History Today
"Williamson effectively shows that Baldwin was neither a gentrified industrialist nor a backwoods Conservative. His sympathies were broad, and his efforts to promote citizenship and self-improvement were impressive. This account is superbly researched, insightful, and elegantly written..." The Journal of Modern History
'Williamson's is the best book on Baldwin yet ... He deserves all possible credit for the diligence of his research, the breadth of his vision and the rigour of his analysis.' Times Literary Supplement
'Williamson's is the best book on Baldwin yet ... He deserves all possible credit for the diligence of his research, the breadth of his vision and the rigour of his analysis.'Times Literary Supplement
‘Williamson’s is the best book on Baldwin yet … He deserves all possible credit for the diligence of his research, the breadth of his vision and the rigour of his analysis.’Times Literary Supplement
"...Williamson's is the best book on Baldwin yet to appear, as well as by far the most favourable." TLS
'Williamson's is the best book on Baldwin yet to appear ... He deserves all possible credit for the diligence of his research, the breadth of his vision and the rigour of his analysis.' The Times Literary Supplement
"...Williamson's Stanley Baldwin contains many insights and fascinating revelations." The Guardian
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, February 2000
To find out how to look for other reviews, please see our guides to finding book reviews in the Sciences or Social Sciences and Humanities.
Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
Stanley Baldwin is one of the most significant modern British politicians, but also one of the most controversial & puzzling. This book provides an insight into Baldwin's career, including the moral and intellectual influences of his early life.
Description for Bookstore
This book is both an examination of one of the dominant figures of twentieth-century British politics, and a contribution to the understanding of political leadership and Conservative ideology. It reinterprets the career of Stanley Baldwin, Conservative leader 1923 37 and three times prime minister, in terms of his construction of a 'national character', his exploitation of the new mass media, and his exposition of a distinctive Conservative doctrine and language. Baldwin's remarkable ascendancy is shown to have been based on his manipulation of widely-held 'national values'.
Description for Bookstore
This study of a commanding Conservative politician is a major contribution to understanding Conservative ideology, 'Englishness' and the nature of British political leadership. It reinterprets the career of Stanley Baldwin, three times prime minister during the difficult 1920s and 1930s, and shows how his extraordinary dominance was based upon manipulation of widely-held 'national values'.
Main Description
Stanley Baldwin (1867–1947) is one of the most significant modern British politicians, but also one of the most controversial and puzzling. As Conservative leader and three times prime minister, Baldwin presided over the beginning of his party’s long twentieth-century dominance. He did so in new and difficult conditions: the onset of modern democratic politics, the rise of Labour, chronic economic depression, the General Strike, persistent newspaper attacks, imperial discontent, the Abdication, and the threats from Mussolini and Hitler. This book provides an understanding of Baldwin’s career, including a serious analysis of the moral and intellectual influences of his early life. Its main concerns are the investigation of a Conservative mind, and its communication with the various audiences that constituted the political nation. This is not a conventional biography, but rather an examination of the nature of political leadership, Conservative politics and ‘national values’.
Main Description
Stanley Baldwin (18671947) is one of the most significant modern British politicians, but also one of the most controversial and puzzling. As Conservative leader and three times prime minister, Baldwin presided over the beginning of his party's long twentieth-century dominance. He did so in new and difficult conditions: the onset of modern democratic politics, the rise of Labour, chronic economic depression, the General Strike, persistent newspaper attacks, imperial discontent, the Abdication, and the threats from Mussolini and Hitler. This book provides an understanding of Baldwin's career, including a serious analysis of the moral and intellectual influences of his early life. Its main concerns are the investigation of a Conservative mind, and its communication with the various audiences that constituted the political nation. This is not a conventional biography, but rather an examination of the nature of political leadership, Conservative politics and 'national values'.
Main Description
This book is both an examination of one of the dominant figures of twentieth-century British politics, and a contribution to the understanding of political leadership and Conservative ideology. It reinterprets the career of Stanley Baldwin, Conservative leader 1923-37 and three times prime minister, in terms of his construction of a "public character," his exploitation of the new mass media, and his exposition of a distinctive Conservative doctrine and language. Baldwin's remarkable ascendancy is shown to have been based on his manipulation of widely-held "national values."
Table of Contents
Introduction: the historical problem
Public career
Political leadership
Influences: business and ethics
Influences: community and service
Purposes and methods
Capitalism and industrial relations
Democracy and public values
Country and empire
Soul and providence
Armaments and anti-totalitarianism
Conclusion
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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