G. D. H. Cole

G. D. H. Cole books and biography


G. D. H. Cole

 The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.


Part of the series on
Types of Cooperatives

Housing cooperative
Building cooperative
Retailers' cooperative
Utility cooperative
Worker cooperative
Social cooperative
Consumers' cooperative
Agricultural cooperative
Credit union
Cooperative banking
Cooperative federation
Cooperative union
Cooperative wholesale society
Mutual insurance

The Rochdale Principles

Voluntary and open membership
Democratic member control
Member economic participation
Autonomy and independence
Education, training, and information
Cooperation among cooperatives
Concern for community

Political and Economic Theories

Cooperative federalism
Cooperative individualism
Third way
Socially responsible investing
Social enterprise

Key Theorists

Robert Owen
William King
The Rochdale Pioneers
G.D.H. Cole
Charles Gide
Beatrice Webb
Friedrich Raiffeisen
David Griffiths


List of cooperatives
List of cooperative federations
International Co-operative Alliance
Co-operative Party

·  v  d  e 

Educated at St Paul's School, Cole became involved in Fabianism while studying at Balliol College, Oxford, joining the Fabian Society executive under the sponsorship of Sidney Webb.

During World War I, Cole was a conscientious objector and his involvement in the campaign against conscription brought him into contact with Margaret Postgate whom he married in 1918. The couple both worked for the Fabian Society for the next six years before moving to Oxford where Cole started writing for the Manchester Guardian. During these years, he also authored several economic and historical works including biographies of William Cobbett and Robert Owen. He became reader in economics at University College, Oxford. In 1944, Cole became the first Chichele Professor of Social and Political Theory at Oxford. He was succeeded in the chair by Isaiah Berlin.

Cole was a powerful influence on the life of the young Harold Wilson, whom he taught, worked with and convinced to join the Labour Party.

Cole and his wife (Margaret Isabel Cole) also co-wrote a number of mystery novels such as The Murder at Crome House (1947).


Contribution to Co-operative studies

Cole was also a theorist of the Co-operative movement, and has made a number of contributions to the fields of Co-operative studies, Co-operative economics and the study of Co-operative History. In particular, his book "The British Co-operative Movement in a Socialist Society" examined the economic status of the English CWS (the predecessor of the modern Co-operative Group), evaluated its possibility of achieving a Co-operative Commonwealth without State assistance, and hypothesised what the role of the Co-operative movement may be in a Socialist State.[1]

A second book, entitled "A Century of Co-operation," examined the history of the Co-operative movement, from the very first Co-operatives, to the contribution of the Chartists and Robert Owen, through to the Rochdale Pioneers, as well as the movement's development (in Great Britain) over the following Century.[2]


From the Minutes of Oxford University Labour Club's Termly General Meeting of Michaelmas term 1926 (held 10 December):

"after the interval, members of the club performed a scurrilous, libellous, treasonable and blasphemous operetta for which Mr GDH Cole was responsible. The club entered into the spirit of the production and enjoyed itself very much".


  • Cole, G. D. H. & Page Arnot, R (1917) Trade Unionism on the Railways
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1917) Self-Government in Industry
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1918) The Payment of Wages
  • Cole, G. D. H. & Cole, M. I. (1918) The Regulation of Wages During and After the War
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1920) Guild Socialism Restated
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1923) The World of Labour
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1925) William Cobbett
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1925) Robert Owen
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1930) The Intelligent Man's Guide Through World Chaos
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1943) Monetary Systems and Theories
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1944) A Century of Cooperation
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1946) The Common People, 1746-1946 (with Raymond Postgate)
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1947) A Short History of the British Working Class Movement 1789-1947
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1952) Introduction to Economic History 1750-1950, London, Macmillan
  • Cole, G. D. H. (1953) "Socialist Thought; The Forerunners 1789-1850," in A History of Socialist Thought, vol. 1, London, Macmillan
  • Cole, G.D.H. (1964) A History of Socialist Thought, vol. 2, London, Macmillan & Co.
  • Cole, M. I. (1971) The Life of G. D. H. Cole
  • Wright, A (1979) G. D. H. Cole and Socialist Democracy ISBN 0-19-827421-1
  • Wyatt, C "A recipe for a cookshop of the future: G. D. H. Cole and the conundrum of sovereignty" Capital and Class 90, 2006


  1. ^ Cole, G.D.H., “The British Co-operative Movement in a Socialist Society: A Report for the Fabian Society”, London: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1951.
  2. ^ Cole, G.D.H., “A Century of Co-operation”, Oxford: George Allen & Unwin Ltd., 1944.

This article might use material from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Sponsored Links

Studies In World Economics

message of the week Message of The Week

Bookyards Youtube channel is now active. The link to our Youtube page is here.

If you have a website or blog and you want to link to Bookyards. You can use/get our embed code at the following link.

Follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Bookyards Facebook, Tumblr, Blog, and Twitter sites are now active. For updates, free ebooks, and for commentary on current news and events on all things books, please go to the following:

Bookyards at Facebook

Bookyards at Twitter

Bookyards at Pinterest

Bookyards atTumblr

Bookyards blog

message of the daySponsored Links