Harold Laski

Harold Laski books and biography

Harold Laski

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Harold Joseph Laski (Manchester, June 30, 1893 – March 24, 1950 in London) was an English political theorist, economist, author, and lecturer, and served as the 1945-1946 chairman of the Labour Party.

After attending Manchester Grammar School and New College, Oxford University, Laski became (1922-1936) a member of the executive committee of the socialist Fabian Society, and in 1936 he joined the Executive Committee of the Labour Party. Cowling describes him as a "prolific publicist and journalist."

In 1926 he was appointed professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics. One of his more famous books is Reflections on the Revolution of Our Time (which was dedicated to Edward R. Murrow). He was active on the American university lecture circuit. His 19 year friendship with Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, begun when he was 23 and Holmes was 75, is reflected in two volumes of correspondence, published in 1953.

He had a massive impact on the politics and the formation of India, having taught a generation of future Indian leaders at the LSE. It is almost entirely due to him that the LSE has a semi-mythological status in India. He was steady in his unremitting advocacy of freedom for India. He was a revered figure to Indian students at the LSE. One Indian Primeminister said,"At every meeting of the Indian National Congress, there is a vacant chair for the ghost of Harold Laski"

  • Maurice Cowling, The Impact of Hitler - British Politics & Policy 1933-1940, Cambridge University Press, 1975, p.410, ISBN 0-521-20582-4

Selected Laski bibliography

  • Studies in the Problem of Sovereignty, 1917
  • Authority in the Modern State, 1919, ISBN 1-58477-275-1
  • Political Thought in England from Locke to Bentham, 1920
  • Karl Marx, 1921
  • Communism, 1927
  • Liberty in the Modern State, 1930
  • Democracy in Crisis, 1933
  • The American Presidency, 1940
  • Reflections On the Revolution of our Time , 1943
  • Faith, Reason, and Civilisation, 1944
  • The American Democracy, 1948

See also

American Studies in Britain

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American Presidency An Interpretation

Communist Manifesto Socialist Landmark

Karl Marx

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