William Beveridge: A Biography

By Jose Harris | Go to book overview

19
CONCLUSION A Philosophy of Social Welfare

I

WILLIAM BEVERIDGE may perhaps be seen as the last of the great line of all-round 'social reformers' who played a significant part in moulding the institutions of modern Britain over the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. He combined in his own person the roles of social scientist and practical reformer, journalist and popular moralist, politician and philanthropist -- a combination increasingly impossible to achieve in the highly specialized milieu of the later twentieth century. Temperamentally too he belonged to the tradition of the great Victorian and Edwardian reformers -- Edwin Chadwick and Lord Shaftesbury, Florence Nightingale and Josephine Butler, John Simon and Robert Morant. Like them he was imperious, compassionate, quick-tempered, and -- when faced with a largescale social or administrative problem -- capable of personal commitment and intellectual absorption almost to the point of obsession. Like his Victorian forerunners Beveridge was outwardly single-minded and selfconfident, inwardly troubled by doubt and self-reproach; and like them he was occasionally ruthless in sacrificing private sentiment on the altar of public causes. Over the course of half a century he enjoyed some spectacular triumphs in forcing through ambitious measures against all the odds, but he could also on occasion be explosively self-destructive. He was fiercely adored by children, secretaries, housekeepers, some (though not all) of his research assistants, and by others who worked with him in subordinate roles; but over many decades he was often actively disliked by his peers and by those in positions of influence and power. In personal relations he could on occasion be exquisitely gentle and generous, at other times appallingly insensitive, abrasive, and rude. He often referred to himself as afflicted with 'nerves', which he consciously strove to keep at bay by Herculean industry,1 by a

____________________
1
Though there was more than one impression of Beveridge's obsession with hard work. Harold Wilson left on record his account of Beveridge's titanic labours on prices and wages. But in Whitehall during the early 1940s several senior civil servants remarked with envy on the tremendous speed with which Beveridge was able to dispatch business, leaving plenty of time over for social life and games of bridge. My suspicion is that Beveridge made a fetish of work when he was miserable or had lost his sense of direction. When, as in 1942, he was buoyed up by inner certainty, it was quite another matter.

-478-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
William Beveridge: A Biography
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 511

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.