By Michael Newman
Arguing that maybe the best-known socialist highbrow of his period has been misrepresented, this biography facilities at the existence and instances of Harold Laski. Spotlighting his impression within the usa, India, and mainland Europe in addition to nice Britain, this account explores how this arguable determine was once attacked within the chilly conflict years for his persevered protection of socialist principals. Contending that Laski committed his lifestyles to the search for a simply society and that his techniques stay hugely proper this present day, this up to date version incorporates a new preface assessing the relevance of Laski’s legacy.
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Extra info for Harold Laski: A Political Biography
Progress could not be secured 'unless we prevent the propagation of the unfit'. 11 The solution was to change public opinion in such a way that 'society will look upon the production of a weakling as a crime against itself'. All this led to the stirring conclusion that: Upon the framework, with which genetics provides us, we must build a strong political superstructure. We see the necessity of a radical reform in the basis of our life; we have realised that the science which enables us to elevate it lies ready to our hand.
12 Such words impressed Sir Francis Galton, who invited Laski to tea and was astonished to find that he was only just 17. U Between leaving school in December 1910 and going to Oxford the next autumn, he was invited to study with Sir Karl Pearson at the Biometric Laboratory in London, and he continued his involvement in eugenics during his first year at university. Indeed, he was so committed to the doctrine that it was the subject of his first speech in a debate at New College, and he arranged for Pearson to speak on it to university undergraduates.
Yet they saw each other regularly while Laski was at Harvard, and corresponded until Holmes' death in 1935 (although it was a one-way correspondence after 1932 because Holmes could no longer respond to Laski's letters). Initially, perhaps Laski was attracted to Holmes partly because he was so eminent, but this was not the basis for their enduring relationship and, when their correspondence was published, there was much speculation about this. The most interesting interpretation (by Edmund Wilson) was that Laski saw Holmes as a father substitute (given his difficulties with Nathan) while Holmes saw him as a substitute for the son he never had.