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The lives of Lewis Namier

Lewis Namier was one of the most important historians of the twentieth century. His work on the politics of the 1760s, based on the ‘scientific’ analysis of a mass of contemporary documents, and emphasising the material and psychological elements of human motivation, was seen by contemporaries as ’revolutionary’ and remains controversial. It gave a new word to the English language: to Namierise. Moreover, Namier played a major role in public affairs, in the Foreign Office, 1915–20, and in the Zionist Organisation in the 1930s, and was close to many of the leading figures of his day. This is the first biography of Namier for half a century, and the first to integrate all aspects of his life and thought. Based on a comprehensive range of sources, including the entire corpus of Namier’s writings, it provides a full account of his background, examines his role in politics and reconstructs his work as a historian, showing the origins and development of his ideas about the past, and the subjects which preoccupied him: nationalism, empire, and the psychology of individuals and groups. Namier’s life and writings illuminate many of the key events of the twentieth century, his belief in the power of nationalism and the importance of national territory, foreshadowing problems which still beset our own world.

decade of the twentieth century – one that directly influenced new political institutions. The work to embed a co-operative social blueprint during the 1890s led to the creation of the DATI, which represented the most dynamic institutional development in Ireland before political independence. Moreover, an examination of the relationship between the IAOS and DATI highlights an important way in which co-operators helped to define agricultural policymaking in Ireland. However, this work exposed tensions within the movement about what constituted an acceptable level of

in Civilising rural Ireland

-operation held over an emergent independent political culture exists. Basil Chubb's influential work on Irish government identified ‘the British influence [as] the most important in determining the pattern of much of Irish political thought and practice’ and classified Irish agriculture as ‘wholly geared to British needs’. 5 Garret Fitzgerald, Irish Taoiseach in the 1980s, articulated a similar view when he described the effect of British policy upon Irish development throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries as ‘a form of exploitation of the Irish small farm

in Civilising rural Ireland
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members within trade unions before they could fight against their employers.23 Her authoritative account of women’s trade unionism demonstrates how male union officials persistently perceived women workers as inferior throughout the twentieth century. This is supported by Anne Phillips and Barbara Taylor, who argued that skill was an ‘ideological category’ rather than an economic fact, meaning that women’s work was undervalued simply because it was performed by women.24 Cathy Hunt’s history of the National Federation of Women Workers shows how women had to develop their

in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85

customers. 10 These provisions, governing new houses, did not eliminate existing poor conditions: the last of the inner-city courts and alleyways were cleared only in the early twentieth century. But their impact on further construction, as the city expanded more than three-fold over the next sixty years, was enormous. A geographical survey published in 1960 noted that most of what were known as the ‘by-law houses’ constructed following the Improvement Acts, ‘built to conform with the law and sturdy enough to serve several generations … are still standing and occupied

in Civic identity and public space

stranger, in visiting our town, must be struck with the very few public monuments and memorials we have of the past’. 24 At this point Belfast had in fact only one public statue, erected in 1855 to commemorate the popular, philanthropically minded earl of Belfast, who had died prematurely two years earlier. It was joined in 1869 by a four-sided clock tower, 113 feet high, dedicated to the memory of Prince Albert (see Figure 3 ). Otherwise the erection of memorials to civic dignitaries had to wait until the early twentieth century. A statue to Queen Victoria was

in Civic identity and public space

In the second half of the twentieth century Belfast, having suffered significantly from the bombs of Nazi Germany during the Second World War, had to adapt to continuing economic decline. Urban development had created suburbs and increased the size of satellite towns. The weakening of key industries saw the decline of working-class inner-city districts, which became dislocated from the city centre, particularly in the west and north, by the development of a motorway system. Those working-class estates, equally, became physically divided

in Civic identity and public space
Renegotiating public space 1970–2008

space for social interaction and the conduct of citizenship. How that space is defined, or negotiated, changes over time. The Twelfth of July in Belfast, for the first seventy years of the twentieth century, was civic, although not unproblematically, in that it would have involved large numbers of people seen as civic leaders, such as unionist councillors and religious ministers. It was not directly funded by the City Council but it was certainly facilitated in terms of cleaning up after the event and provision of facilities. It sat slightly uncomfortably within the

in Civic identity and public space
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immediate colleagues who are responsible for the direction and coordination of government policy. Smith suggests that the idea of parliamentary government ‘is now a chimera, having existed in reality only during a very particular period of the mid-nineteenth century’ (Smith, 1999 : 218). As a result of economic, social and political factors, party discipline and executive domination had, ‘by the late nineteenth and early twentieth century started to shift power away from the parliamentary arena into the executive’ (Smith, 1999 : 219). One of the most significant reasons

in The British political elite and Europe, 1959–1984

altered political discourse and created a new set of resources for understanding the impact of these social and economic changes taking place in women’s lives. (Un)equal pay and the sexual division of labour Women’s growing presence in the labour force was a defining feature of twentieth-century Britain. Demographic changes such as smaller families and shorter childbearing periods left women with more time to seek employment outside the home. At the same time, an expanding economy and full employment created more job opportunities for women. As explained in the

in Women, workplace protest and political identity in England, 1968-85