Search Results

Advanced Search

1 to 15 of 43 results

Sort by:

Filter by:

Contributors

Article Types

Authors

Subjects

... voluntarily or not. Similarly, the diffusion of capitalism – by which I mean the employment of wage-labourers by private owners of the means of production in order to market the goods thereby produced for profit – has followed no uniform sequence and come about, where it has, in very different ways. This is not simply because, as emphasised by Braudel ...

What next?

W.G. Runciman, 27 October 1988

Plough, Sword and Book: The Structure of Human History 
by Ernest Gellner.
Collins, 288 pp., £15, August 1988, 0 00 217178 3
Show More
Show More
... If human history does, indeed, have a structure, it is, as Professor Gellner emphasises, discernible only with hindsight. The path which has led, in his words, ‘from the cosy social cocoon of early man to the expanding, cognitively powerful, and socially disconnected world of modern man’ was not merely invisible to those who were treading it: it was inconceivable ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Like a Prep School, 10 January 1991

... The publisher’s launching party for David Cannadine’s Decline and Fall of the British Aristocracy in the Moses Room of the House of Lords on 22 October was the third occasion on which I had been inside that curious place since taking my seat as a hereditary member of it. The Moses Room is evidently so called because its walls depict, in tableaux more impressive for their size than their quality, the appropriate Old Testament scenes ...

Ross McKibbin and the Rise of Labour

W.G. Runciman, 24 May 1990

The Ideologies of Class: Social Relations in Britain 1880-1950 
by Ross McKibbin.
Oxford, 308 pp., £35, April 1990, 0 19 822160 6
Show More
Show More
... In 1984, Ross McKibbin published an article in the English Historical Review called ‘Why was there no Marxism in Great Britain?’ His choice of title was a deliberate invocation of the celebrated essay which Werner Sombart published in 1906 under the title Why is there no socialism in the United States? It does not, of course, mean literally what it says ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: 1920s v. 1980s, 17 March 1988

... the military preparedness necessary to preserve world peace by demonstrating the willingness to wage a European war? But again, I wonder. The Trident missiles are our Dreadnoughts, and, as Peter Jenkins well describes, Mrs Thatcher has managed to get herself treated by the super-powers as a serious, as well as an eager participant in the nuclear diplomacy ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: Serious Money, 3 September 1987

... The play Serious Money, now transferred from the Royal Court to the West End, is a disappointment. It is neither farce nor satire, only caricature. The City is a splendid target for mockery, but loud doggerel and insistent overacting are no substitute for wit. The play may well enjoy a steady run simply because its subject is topical and its script full of four-letter words ...

The Old Question

W.G. Runciman, 19 February 1987

The Sources of Social Power. Vol I: A History of Power from the Beginning to AD 1760 
by Michael Mann.
Cambridge, 549 pp., £37.50, July 1986, 0 521 30851 8
Show More
Show More
... Books on the theme of society-down-the-ages generally fall into one of two kinds. Either they are a narrative synthesis organised according to some preconceived criterion of historical significance, or they are an attempt to test against the historical evidence some would-be general theory to the effect that demography, class struggle, national psychology or whatever it may be is the master key to the explanation of the whole long story ...

Latent Discontent

W.G. Runciman, 11 June 1992

Solidarity and Schism: ‘The Problem of Disorder’ in Durkheimian and Marxist Sociology 
by David Lockwood.
Oxford, 433 pp., £48, March 1992, 0 19 827717 2
Show More
Show More
... David Lockwood is the sociologist’s sociologist in the same way that Ken Rosewall used to be the tennis player’s tennis player: he’s the one the other pros turn out to watch. But you need to know the fixture list. To switch to an older metaphor, he is apt not only to hide his light under a bushel but to hide the bushel as well. He never writes book reviews or goes on television or airs his views about the state of the nation on Radio Three ...

The Charity Mess

W.G. Runciman, 19 July 2012

... It may be too soon to be passing judgment on the Cameron government. But it does sometimes look as if we are back with the impatient legislation of the Blair era, along with the facile soundbites, the eye-catching initiatives, the whitewashed sleaze, the fawning towards the tabloids (in Blairspeak, ‘managing the relationship’), and the unwillingness or inability to think through the implications of under-researched policy decisions – tendencies which in the end came to be deplored by many of Blair’s one-time supporters as well as his opponents ...

Diary

W.G. Runciman: City Regulation, 21 January 2016

... In​ 2008, Donald MacKenzie expounded to LRB readers with admirable clarity the workings of Libor (the London Interbank Offered Rate), which establishes the benchmark terms on which hundreds of trillions of dollars are lent and borrowed across the world every day.* It sometimes comes as a surprise to the uninitiated to learn that Libor has never been based on transactions which have actually taken place but on the interest rates at which the participating banks say they could borrow money if they chose ...

On the State of the Left

W.G. Runciman, 17 December 1981

The Forward March of Labour Halted? 
by Eric Hobsbawm, Ken Gill and Tony Benn.
Verso, 182 pp., £8.50, November 1981, 0 86091 041 5
Show More
Show More
... not definable in class terms; the persistent lack of trade-union solidarity; the effects of wage-inflation on real incomes; the vulnerability of the high-cost industrial economies to competition from low-cost, newly-industrialising ones – all these things have made it increasingly difficult for the self-proclaimed heirs of the socialist tradition to ...

Hackney

W.G. Runciman, 20 October 1983

Inside the Inner City 
by Paul Harrison.
Pelican, 444 pp., £3.95, August 1983, 9780140224191
Show More
Brighton on the Rocks: Monetarism and the Local State 
Queens Park Rates Book Group, 192 pp., £3.95, May 1983, 0 904733 08 4Show More
The Wealth Report 
edited by Frank Field.
Routledge, 164 pp., £6.95, June 1983, 0 7100 9452 3
Show More
Show More
... hardest-hitting indictment of restrictive fiscal policies will move those for whom the defeat of wage-fuelled inflation is the overriding priority in the quest for the grail of sustained real economic growth. Like Harrison’s epigraphs, the QueenSpark Rates Book Group’s invocation of General Pinochet as the bogeyman of monetarism will merely help to ...

Henry and Caroline

W.G. Runciman, 1 April 1983

The Official Sloane Ranger Handbook: The First Guide to What Really Matters in Life 
by Ann Barr and Peter York.
Ebury, 160 pp., £4.95, October 1982, 0 85223 236 5
Show More
Show More
... Anthropological method, as classically practised by Malinowski among the Trobriand Islanders, depends in the first instance on patient scrutiny of the details of the daily life of the community under study. But it depends also on the detection in, or behind, those details of what Malinowski himself called ‘the natives’ Weltanschauung’ – that is, the whole unspoken complex of myths, prejudices, values and assumptions through which they interpret the meaning of the world to themselves ...

Congenial Aspirations

W.G. Runciman, 4 October 1984

The Theory of Communicative Action. Vol. One: Reason and the Rationalisation of Society 
by Jurgen Habermas, translated by Thomas McCarthy.
Heinemann, 456 pp., £25, May 1984, 0 435 82391 4
Show More
Show More
... In the bad old days of academic insularity, when Anglo-Saxon philosophers dismissed Continental philosophy as so much hot air, Continental philosophers were equally ready to dismiss analytical philosophy in its Anglo-Saxon form as flippant and trivial. It is a measure of how far things have changed for the better that Professor Habermas of Frankfurt not only commands a substantial following in the English-speaking world but is himself as willing to proffer a citation from Austin or Ryle as from Husserl or Heidegger ...

Grand Theories

W.G. Runciman, 17 October 1985

The Return of Grand Theory in the Human Sciences 
edited by Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 215 pp., £17.50, July 1985, 0 521 26692 0
Show More
Classes 
by Erik Olin Wright.
Verso, 344 pp., £20, September 1985, 0 86091 104 7
Show More
Powers and Liberties: The Causes and Consequences of the Rise of the West 
by John Hall.
Blackwell, 282 pp., £19.50, September 1985, 0 631 14542 7
Show More
Show More
... What is a ‘Grand’ as opposed to a ‘General’ theory, in the human sciences or anywhere else? Nobody talks about Keynes’s Grand Theory of Employment, Interest and Money, any more than they do about Einstein’s Grand Theory of Relativity. If not frankly pejorative, the term is at best ironic, implying a loftiness of tone, an inflation of aim, and a pretentiousness of content which no serious academic author could possibly want to be charged with ...

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences