Harold J. Laski

Laski, Harold Joseph

Harold Joseph Laski (lăs´kē), 1893–1950, British political scientist, economist, author, and lecturer. A graduate of New College, Oxford, he taught at McGill Univ. (1914–16) and Harvard (1916–20). In 1920 he joined the faculty of the London School of Economics and in 1926 became professor of political science there, a position he held for the rest of his life. A member (1922–36) of the executive committee of the Fabian Society, Laski became a member of the Labour party executive committee in 1936 and was chairman of the party in 1945–46. He also held various official and semiofficial government posts. However, he is best known for his books on political science and for his speeches in Britain and the United States on political, social, and economic trends. Politically, Laski moved from an early belief in antistatist pluralism to the conviction that the state had to take the lead in socialist reform. His books include Studies in the Problem of Sovereignty (1917), Authority in the Modern State (1919), Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham (1920), Karl Marx (1921), Communism (1927), Democracy in Crisis (1933), The American Presidency (1940), Faith, Reason, and Civilisation (1944), The American Democracy (1948), and Liberty in the Modern State (rev. ed. 1948).

See Holmes-Laski Letters (2 vol.,1953); biography by K. Martin (1953); H. Deane, The Political Ideas of Harold Laski (1955, repr. 1972).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2018, The Columbia University Press.

Harold J. Laski: Selected full-text books and articles

Liberty in the Modern State By Harold J. Laski Harper and Brothers, 1930
Studies in Law and Politics By Harold J. Laski Yale University Press, 1932
Democracy in Crisis By Harold J. Laski The University of North Carolina Press, 1933
Where Do We Go from Here? By Harold J. Laski The Viking Press, 1940
Leviathan in Crisis: An International Symposium on the State, Its Past, Present, and Future By Waldo R. Browne Viking Press, 1946
Librarian's tip: "The Sovereignty of the State" by Harold J. Laski begins on p. 113
The Pragmatic Revolt in Politics: Syndicalism, Fascism, and the Constitutional State By W. Y. Elliott Macmillan Company, 1928
Librarian's tip: Chap. 5 "The Politics of Mr. H. J. Laski"
Liberalism Divided: A Study in British Political Thought, 1914-1939 By Michael Freeden Oxford University, 1986
Librarian's tip: Chap. 8 "Socialism with a Liberal Face"
Law, Society, and Economy: Centenary Essays for the London School of Economics and Political Science, 1895-1995 By Richard Rawlings Clarendon Press, 1997
Librarian's tip: Chap. 2 "Laski's Law behind the Law: 1906 to European Labour Law"
England Speaks: A Symposium By A. S. Duncan-Jones; Ronald Knox; J. R. Clynes; C. E. M. Joad; Harold Laski; A. A. Milne; E. M. Forster; A. P. Herbert Macmillan, 1941
Librarian's tip: "The Rights of Man" by Harold J. Laski begins on p. 197
Ideas and Beliefs of the Victorians: An Historic Revaluation of the Victorian Age By British Broadcasting Corporation Sylvan Press, 1949
Librarian's tip: "Fabian Socialism" by H. J. Laski begins on p. 78
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