America and the British Left, from Bright to Bevan

America and the British Left, from Bright to Bevan

America and the British Left, from Bright to Bevan

America and the British Left, from Bright to Bevan

Excerpt

This book is an attempt to illustrate the attitude to the United States of the members of the British Left--first Liberal and Radical, later also Socialist--in the period since the American Civil War and up to the present day. It consists ora series of studies of particular controversies in British politics which throw light on the contemporary view of America. The studies do not attempt to assess the "impact" of America in relation to other factors in British politics: and the reader should beware of overestimating the importance of that influence from the selective evidence here presented. Nevertheless, it will be apparent to the reader that those textbooks of recent history which deal with Anglo-American relations only in terms of diplomatic contacts are ignoring a substantial and significant section of the history of Atlantic civilization.

Whatever merits these essays may possess must very largely be ascribed to the wealth of assistance which I received in the course of their preparation. Whatever faults they contain must be attributed to my failure to make the best use of this assistance, I am especially indebted to the scholars of the University of Wisconsin who made my stay in their midst in 1953-4 so pleasant and so stimulating an experience. To Professor Merle Curti I owe my introduction to that university; in my venture into his own chosen field of intellectual history, I was able to rely on his unfailing generosity and rich resources of knowledge. Professors Selig Perlman and Edwin Young extended to me much help in the sphere of American labour history, in which the "Wisconsin School" has long held the lead. Others, notably Professors Leon Epstein and Howard K. Beale, repeatedly went out of their way to assist my efforts to comprehend the American present and past.

In my search for primary sources in the United States I owe much to scholars working on kindred subjects: I must name Mr. R. V. Clements, Dr. Clifton Yearley, Miss Fola LaFollette, Professor Howard H. Quint and Professor David A. Shannon. I am also indebted to Mr. Marcus Cunliffe of Manchester University and to Dr. Frank Friedel, the present Harmsworth Professor at Oxford, for undertaking the labour of reading my entire . . .

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