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The reform of public life in modern Britain, 1750–1950
Editors: Ian Cawood and Tom Crook

The many lives of corruption begins the task of piecing together the bigger picture of how corruption has undermined public life in modern Britain. It offers a uniquely expansive perspective, which stretches from the Old Corruption and ‘unreformed’ politics of the eighteenth century through to the mass democracy and welfare state of the twentieth.

Conceptually, as an object of thought, as much as practicably, and as an object of reform, corruption has proved tenaciously problematic and protean. This volume engages with both of these crucial aspects, arguing that it is only by grasping them together that we can fully understand how corruption has shaped the making of a democratic-capitalist state in Britain and given rise to new ideals of public service. It examines the factors that have facilitated and frustrated anticorruption reforms, as well as the various ways ‘corruption’ has been conceived by historical agents. It does so across a range of different sites – electoral, political and administrative, domestic and colonial – presenting new research on neglected areas of reform, while revisiting well-known scandals and corrupt practices. The many lives of corruption is essential reading for all scholars interested in understanding how the pursuit of purity in British public life has evolved over the past two and a half centuries – and why corruption remains such a pressing issue today.

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Jan Montefiore

in ways Kipling’s admirers may not welcome; Kipling’s bald statement to Max Aitken – quoted here by Bryan Cheyette about ‘Gehazi’, his allegorical satire on Rufus Isaacs’ insider dealing in the Marconi Affair – that ‘I wrote it for that Jew-boy on the Bench’ nails the poem as incontrovertibly anti-Semitic.14 These letters, and the increased knowledge of Kipling’s historical, family and political context and of his con­ temporary critical reception made available in recent biographies by Andrew Lycett (1999) and others,15 have been crucial for historicist and post

in In Time’s eye
Westminster scandals and the problem of corruption, c. 1880–1914
Tom Crook

(1898), the Kynoch affair (1900–1) and the Marconi affair. The refinement of corruption It is not, it should be emphasised, that the meanings of ‘corruption’ changed to any significant degree. In broad terms, it continued to signify the abuse of public office for private financial gain, much as it had for centuries; and it remained open to various readings, from those that

in The many lives of corruption
Kipling among the war poets
Harry Ricketts

[the indigenous Fijians], working side by side in obedience to the Clifton and Trinity, or Winchester and New College, man, with his ‘Doesn’t do to be too friendly with these niggahs, you know. You must make ’em respect you!’ That is Empire.52 Amused, also impressed, he was clearly aware of being himself a Rugby and King’s man. The adoption of this purposeful, Kiplingesque persona may also have played its part in Brooke’s decision to give up ‘the National Liberal Club’ because, as he told Marsh, ‘I hate the Liberal party, & the Marconi affair, & the whole mess

in In Time’s eye
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The British way in corruption
Ian Cawood and Tom Crook

exploited for political gain. The British examples are many: the Marconi affair, the honours scandals of the Edwardian and interwar eras, the Belcher and Poulson affairs of the post-war period and the ‘cash for questions’ affair and expenses scandal of recent decades, to name only a few. For the moment these must remain only tentative signposts towards a more critical historiography of the peculiarities of

in The many lives of corruption
Ulrike Ehret

Poland see ‘Jewish Pogroms in Poland’, Catholic Herald, 5 July 1919, p. 7. Gisela Lebzelter, Political Antisemitism in England 1918–1939, London, 1978, pp. 13–29. Joseph Keating, ‘Topics of the Month. The Folly of Bigotry’, The Month, August 1921, p. 177. For the Catholic Times see Sidney Weir, ‘War with Russia?’, Catholic Times, 4 January 1919, p. 5. For the effect of the Marconi affair see ‘Things to Remember’, Catholic Herald, 12 April 1919, p. 5; ‘How the Nation is Plundered’, Catholic Herald, 25 January 1919, p. 5. 02-ChurchNationRace_036-093 28/11/11 14

in Church, nation and race