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Joe Earle
Cahal Moran
, and
Zach Ward-Perkins

Chapter 5 Rediscovering liberal education Economics as a pluralist, liberal education [The purpose of universities] is not to make skilful lawyers, or physicians, or engineers, but capable and cultivated human beings. John Stuart Mill, 18671 The School again is not a place of technical education fitting you for one and only one profession. It makes you better for every occupation, it does help you get on in life … But you will lose most of the value of the School if you regard it solely as a means of getting on in life. Regard it as a means of learning, to

in The econocracy
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Authority and vision

John McGahern is one of those writers whose work continues to be appreciated across a range of readerships. As a writer who eschewed the notion of himself as 'artist' he addressed his task through a commitment to style, what he called the 'revelation of the personality through language'. McGahern's work began to receive critical attention only from when Denis Sampson's seminal study, Outstaring Nature's Eye: The Fiction of John McGahern was published in 1993. This book focuses on the physical landscape to show how the inadequacy of the State that emerged after 1922 is reflected in the characters' shifting relationship with the landscape, the connection has been made vulnerable through trauma and painful memory. It explores this sense of resentment and disillusionment in McGahern's novels, drawing parallels between the revolutionary memories and McGahern's own family experience. McGahern's All Over Ireland offers a number of fine stories, mostly set in Ireland, and dealing with distinctly Irish themes. He wrote a novel that is an example of openness, compassion and understanding for any form of strangeness. The vision of education and of the shaping of identity found in his writing is not an idiosyncratic one - it is consistent with much of the best thought within the tradition of liberal education. The book provides an intriguing comparison between McGahern and Flannery O'Connor, illustrating how diverse stories share an underlying current of brutality, demonstrating their respective authors' preoccupation with a human propensity towards evil.

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A study in obsolete patriotism

The Victorian private solider was a despised figure. Yet in the first sixteen months of the Great War two and a half million men from the UK and many more from the empire, flocked to the colours without any form of legal compulsion. This book is the result of reflection on one of the most extraordinary mass movements in history: the surge of volunteers into the British army during the first sixteen months of the Great War. The notion that compulsory service in arms was repugnant to British tradition was mistaken. The nation's general state of mind, system of values and set of attitudes derived largely from the upper middle class, which had emerged and become dominant during the nineteenth century. The book examines the phenomenon of 1914 and the views held by people of that class, since it was under their leadership that the country went to war. It discusses the general theoretical notions of the nature of war of two nineteenth-century thinkers: Karl von Clausewitz and Charles Darwin. By 1914 patriotism and imperialism were interdependent. The early Victorians directed their abundant political energies chiefly towards free trade and parliamentary reform. It was the Germans' own policy which jolted the British into unity, for the Cabinet and the nation were far from unanimously in favour of war until the Germans attacked Belgium. Upper-class intellectual culture was founded on the tradition of 'liberal education' at the greater public schools and at Oxford and Cambridge.

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The perils of leaving economics to the experts

One hundred years ago the idea of ‘the economy’ didn’t exist. Now, improving ‘the economy’ has come to be seen as one of the most important tasks facing modern societies. Politics and policymaking are increasingly conducted in the language of economics and economic logic increasingly frames how political problems are defined and addressed. The result is that crucial societal functions are outsourced to economic experts. The econocracy is about how this particular way of thinking about economies and economics has come to dominate many modern societies and its damaging consequences. We have put experts in charge but those experts are not fit for purpose.

A growing movement is arguing that we should redefine the relationship between society and economics. Across the world, students, the economists of the future, are rebelling against their education. From three members of this movement comes a book that tries to open up the black box of economic decision making to public scrutiny. We show how a particular form of economics has come to dominate in universities across the UK and has thus shaped our understanding of the economy. We document the weaknesses of this form of economics and how it has failed to address many important issues such as financial stability, environmental sustainability and inequality; and we set out a vision for how we can bring economic discussion and decision making back into the public sphere to ensure the societies of the future can flourish.

Vanessa Heggie

training courses, actors in both the medical and sporting spheres were still able to identify some practices as novel or innovative, others as old-fashioned or traditional, and yet more as scientific or mere quackery. What this chapter will go on to show is that both philosophical and physiological theories constrained and informed the construction of sports medicine; these ideas were part of the shared values and liberal education of a generation of middle-class men who, as doctors or amateur athletes, contributed to an understanding of the athletic body in the early

in A history of British sports medicine
Jean R. Brink

This chapter explains that the Elizabethan grammar school education, which Spenser and Shakespeare would have received, involved learning to read Latin texts in Latin and to engage in double translation, i.e., sophisticated exercises in translating from Latin to English and back again. Brink surveys the unusually liberal education that Spenser would have received at Merchant Taylors’ School and suggests that Richard Mulcaster influenced Spenser’s decision to write in English. Mulcaster forcefully advocated educating the lower classes and even supported educating women. In this chapter, the reader is introduced to the typological reading encouraged by studying Alexander Nowell’s Catechism. The reader is shown how typological reading is likely to have influenced Spenser’s symbolism in Book I of the Faerie Queene.

in The early Spenser, 1554–80
Community engagement and lifelong learning

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.

A distinctive politics?

English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.

New interdisciplinary essays

This book establishes the basic proposals of the Origin, which constitute the opening phase. In both structural and linguistic terms, 'difficulty' becomes the dominant principle in Darwin's negotiation of the relationship in the text between self-criticism and assertion. The book explores the profound awareness on Darwin's part of the lack of a coherent genetic theory upon which to predicate the mechanism of natural selection. 'Difficulties on Theory' then initiates that process of extensive questioning which has led Fleming to speak of Darwin's unsurpassed 'instinct for truth-telling': 'has there ever been another scientist who included in his great book all the arguments against it that he could ever think of?' The book outlines these main 'difficulties' and then proceeds to confront two of them, the absence of visible transitional forms in nature and the origin and development of common organs in creatures of widely different habit. It focuses on taxonomy via the 'Mutual Affinities of Organic Beings' serves as an important reminder that the whole structure of the Origin might be viewed as a debate around human systems of classification as much as an attempt to give unmediated access to the true principles of development in organic life. The 'ingenious' Darwin, subtly aware of the linguistic balancing acts necessary for the representation of a highly speculative theory in the terms of empirical method and observation, is an important aid to our understanding of the particular form of the Origin.

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The international activities of American women's organisations

This book explores the importance of American women's associations in offering American women an active role outside the home, a function that had been recognised and applauded by feminist historians of the pre-suffrage era. It investigates the continuing relevance of the 'separate sphere' of women-only organisations after the extension of suffrage. American women's organisations in the twentieth century continued to offer women an opportunity and a justification for a role outside the private confines of the home. The book considers the traditional importance placed on voluntary associations in American life as guardians of freedom and as a medium for the activities of private citizens outside the processes of the public sphere of government. It evaluates how the Cold War both relied upon the ideological value of the 'private' status of voluntary associations, and undermined this distinction as private associations co-operated with their government in international work. The book also explores the contradictions between American women's assertions of sisterhood and equality with West German women and their assumption of a position of superiority based on national identity. It presents the history of the World Organization for Mothers of All Nations (WOMAN), an organisation of women established by journalist Dorothy Thompson to harness women's interest in peace to a global pressure group. This effort at internationalism was thwarted by established mainstream women's organisations that sought to produce and police a coherent national position.