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Defending Politics: Bernard Crick at The Political Quarterly

Defending Politics: Bernard Crick at The Political Quarterly

Stephen Ball (Editor)

ISBN: 978-1-444-35133-0 February 2015 Wiley-Blackwell 610 Pages


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A collection of Bernard Crick’s writings comprising everything he ever wrote for The Political Quarterly from the late 1950s to 2008 - newly re-edited and with an Introduction, the collection reveals the intellectual and political development, as well as the wit and style, of one of the most intriguing public intellectuals of the postwar period.
  • Includes articles, reviews, all assignable commentaries, and the first chapter of his abandoned history of the Political Quarterly journal, from the late 1950s to 2008
  • The earliest pieces coincide with his beginnings as a new lecturer at the LSE, follows his ideas, insights and preoccupations through his years as author of the classic In Defence of Politics and his biography of Orwell, to his later work with the Home Office on citizenship and articles written in the last year of his life.
  • Explores how a person universally described in his 2008 obituaries as ambitious, self-centred and personally difficult could assume such an important role in the collective enterprise of The Political Quarterly 
  • A definitive collection, unrivalled in its depth and span of years, covering such perennial (and PQ) issues as public policy, governance, parliamentary reform, education, citizenship, the fortunes of the Labour party, and the evolution of leftward politics in the UK

Preface: Stephen Ball

Introduction: Stephen Ball

Part I: Articles and book chapters, 1960 to 2009

1 Socialist Literature in the 1950s (1960)

2 The Campus and the Caucus (1962)

3 What Should the Lords Be Doing? (1963)

4 Prospects for Parliamentary Reform (1965)

5 The Future of the Labour Government (1967)

6 A Time to Reason (book chapter, 1970)

7 The 1970s in Retrospect (1970)

8 Social Trends and Statistical Services (Reports and Surveys, 1971)

9 The Strange Death of the American Theory of Consensus (1972)

10 Paying for the Parties (1975)

11 The Character of a Moderate (1976)

12 Some Socialist Books (Reports and Surveys, 1977)

13 A Meditation on Socialism and Nine Theories (1980)

14 The Future of the Labour Party (1983)

15 The Observer (1985)

16 The Fundamental Condition of Labour (1987)

17 The State of Our Civil Liberties (1989)

18 The English and the British (book chapter, 1991)

19 Ambushes and Advances: the Scottish Act 1998 (1995)

20 Hannah Arendt and the Burden of Our Times (1997)

21 Still Missing: A Public Philosophy? (1997)

22 Introduction to Citizens: Towards a Citizenship Culture (book chapter, 2001)

23 Justifications of Violence (2006)

24 Do We Really Need Britannia? (2007; as book chapter, 2009)

25 The Four Nations: Interrelations (2008)

Part II: Reviews, 1957 to 2008


Fabian International Essays, edited by T. E. M. McKitterick and Kenneth Younger (1957)

The Crisis of the Old Order, 1919–1933, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr (1958)

The House of Lords and Contemporary Politics: 1911–1957, by P. A. Bromhead; La Chambre des Lords au XXe Siècle: 1911–1949, by Michel Bouissou (1958)

Oppression and Liberty, by Simone Weil; The Human Condition, by Hannah Arendt (1959)


Words and Things: A Critical Account of Linguistic Philosophy and a Study in Ideology, by Ernest Gellner (1960)

Social Principles and the Democratic State, by S. I. Benn and R. S. Peters; British Conservatism, 1832–1914, by R. B. McDowell; The Analysis of Political Systems, by Douglas V. Verney (1960)

The Logic of Social Enquiry, by Quentin Gibson; Understanding Human Society, by Walter Goldschmidt (1960)

American Foreign Policy, by Louis J. Halle; A New History of the United States, by William Miller; Senator Joe McCarthy, by Richard Rovere; The Coming of the New Deal, by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr (1961)

The Politics of Upheaval, by Arthur Schlesinger, Jr (1961)

The Art and Practice of Diplomacy, by Sir Charles Webster (1962)

Wilkes and Liberty: A Social Study of 1763 to 1774, by George Rudé (1962)

The Appeasers, by Martin Gilbert and Richard Gott (1963)

Futuribles: Studies in Conjecture, edited by Bertrand de Jouvenel; The Pure Theory of Politics, by Bertrand de Jouvenel (1964)

Eichmann in Jerusalem: A Report on the Banality of Evil, by Hannah Arendt (1964)

Paths of American Thought, edited by Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr, and Morton White; The First New Nation, by Seymour Martin Lipset; American Aspects, by D. W. Brogan; Party and Society: Voting Behaviour in Anglo-American Democracies, by Robert R. Alford; Interest Groups in American Society, by Harmon Zeigler (1964)

Men and Work: The Autobiography of Lord Citrine (1965)

English History: 1914–1945, by A. J. P. Taylor (1966)

The Politics of Financial Control, by Gordon Reid (1967)

Four Essays on Liberty, by Isaiah Berlin (1969)


On Violence, by Hannah Arendt; Violence, by Jacques Ellul; Why Men Rebel, by Ted Robert Gurr (1971)

Kingsley: The Life, Letters and Diaries of Kingsley Martin, by C. H. Rolph (1973)

Contemporary Thought and Politics, by Ernest Gellner (1974)

Gollancz: The Story of a Publishing House, 1928–1978, by Sheila Hodges (1978)


Understanding the United Kingdom: The Territorial Dimension in Government, by Richard Rose; The Territorial Dimension in United Kingdom Politics, edited by Peter Madgwick and Richard Rose; The English World: History, Character and People, edited by Robert Blake (1983)

The Diary of Beatrice Webb, edited by Norman and Jeanne MacKenzie. Volume One 1873–1892, Glitter Around and Darkness Within. Volume Two: 1892–1905, All the Good Things of Life.Volume Three: 1905–1924, The Power to Alter Things. Volume Four: The Wheel of Life (1986)

Englishness: Politics and Culture, 1880–1920, edited by Robert Colls and Philip Dodd (1986)

Making Trouble: Autobiographical Explorations and Socialism, by James D. Young (1988)


National Curriculum History Working Group: Final Report; The British Isles: A History of Four Nations, by Hugh Kearney; Britain: A Plural Society. Report of a SeminarPatriotism: The Making and Unmaking of British National Identity, edited by Raphael Samuel, 3 vols; Games with Shadows, by Neal Ascherson; The Enchanted Glass: Britain and its Monarchy, by Tom Nairn; The Divided Kingdom, by John Osmond (1990)

The Future of Northern Ireland, edited by John McGarry and Brendan O’Leary; Interpreting Northern Ireland, by John Whyte; Inequality in Northern Ireland, by David Smith and Gerald Chambers; Northern Ireland since 1945, by Sabine Wichert; Northern Ireland: Politics and the Constitution, edited by Brigid Hadfield; The Northern Ireland Question: Myth and Reality, edited by Patrick J. Roche and Brian Barton (1992)

Britons: Forging the Nation 1701–1837, by Linda Colley; Myths of the English, edited by Roy Porter (1993)

Harold Laski: A Life on the Left, by Isaac Kramnick and Barry Sheerman MP; Harold Laski: A Political Biography, by Michael Newman (1993)

Political Thought in Ireland since the Seventeenth Century, edited by D. George Boyce et al.; Northern Ireland: The Choice, by Kevin Boyle and Tom Hadden; De Valera: Long Fellow, Long Shadow, by Tim Pat Coogan; Straight Left: An Autobiography, by Paddy Devlin; Heresy: The Battle of Ideas in Modern Ireland, by Desmond Fennell; Paddy and Mr Punch: Connections in Irish and English History, by R. F. Foster; Ireland Today: Anatomy of a Changing State, by Gemma Hussey; In Search of a State: Catholics in Northern Ireland, by Fionnuala O Connor; Northern Ireland: Sharing Authority, by Brendan O’Leary et al. (1994)

Citizens and Subjects, by Tony Wright; Politics in an Anti-Political Age, by Geoff Mulgan (1994)

Townscape with Figures: Farnham—Portrait of an English Town, by Richard Hoggart (1995)

Humour and History, edited by Keith Cameron (1995)

The Republic of Letters: The Correspondence between Thomas Jefferson and James Madison 1776–1826, edited by James Morton Smith (1995)

Postmodernism, Reason and Religion, by Ernest Gellner; Anthropology and Politics: Revolutions in the Sacred Grove, by Ernest Gellner (1996)

Hitler’s Willing Executioners: Ordinary Germans and the Holocaust, by Erich Goldhagen (1997)

Second Class Ticket: The Neglect of State Education, by P. W. Turner (1997)

The History of Government, by S. E. Finer. Volume 1: Ancient Monarchies and Empires. Volume 2: The Intermediate Ages. Volume 3: Empires, Monarchies and the Modern State (1998)

Liberty before Liberalism, by Quentin Skinner (1998)


Integrity in the Public and Private Domains, edited by Alan Montefiore and David Vines; The Sovereignty of Parliament: History and Philosophy, by Jeffrey Goldsworthy; The Politics of Nationhood: Sovereignty, Britishness and Conservative Politics, by Philip Lynch; Orwell’s Politics, by John Newsinger; British Social Attitudes, 16th Report: Who Shares New Labour Values?, edited by Roger Jowell et al. (2000)

Augmenting Democracy: Political Movements and Constitutional Reform during the Rise of Labour, 1900–1924, by Andrew Chadwick (2000)

Forward to Basics—Back from the Brink: Can Humanity Rescue Itself?, by J. M. Ross (2001)

The Cunning of Unreason: Making Sense of Politics, by John Dunn (2001)

The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes, by Jonathan Rose (2002)

The Red Flag and the Union Jack: Englishness, Patriotism and the British Left, 1881–1924, by Paul Ward (2002)

Identity of England, by Roger Colls; Patriots: National Identity in Britain 1940–2000, by Richard Weight (2003)

Multicultural Politics: Racism, Ethnicity and Muslims in Britain, by Tariq Modood (2006)

The New East End: Kinship, Race and Conflict, by Geoff Dench et al. (2006)

Comrades: A World History of Communism, by Robert Service (2008)

The Scots and the Union, by Christopher Whatley; The Union: England, Scotland and the Treaty of 1707, by Michael Fry; The Union of 1707: Why and How, by Paul Henderson Scot (2008)

Part III: Commentaries, 1974 to 1981

Untitled (1974)

‘Talk of Coalition’ (1974)

‘Opening the Crossman Diaries’ and ‘The Crisis’ (1975)

‘Pandora’s Box, Sovereignty and the Referendum’ (1975)

‘Joint Editorship’ and ‘The Referendum That Was’ (1975)

‘“The Good Causes”, a New Series’ and ‘Lament for India’ (1975)

‘Freedom and the Labour Party’ (1976)

‘House and Nation’ and ‘Northern Ireland’ (1976)

‘The Death Wish’ (1977)

‘Jubilee?’, ‘Penguin’, ‘Porn’ and ‘Parliament’ (1977)

‘The Education Service’ (1977)

‘Political Education, Elections and the Media’ (1978)

‘Political Reviews’ (1978)

‘Euro-Communism’ (1978)

‘Ten Years in Ulster’ (1979)

‘Political Broadcasting’ (1979)

‘The Two Islands’ (1980)

‘William Robson, 1895–1980’ (1980)

‘Perspectives on Unemployment’ (1981)

Part IV: Seventy Serious Years, 1998




Chapter 1