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Training minds for the war of ideas :…
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Training minds for the war of ideas : Ashridge College, the Conservative…

by Clarisse Berthezène

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0719086493, Hardcover)

This book examines attempts by the Conservative party in the interwar years to capture the 'brains' of the new electorate and create a counter-culture to what they saw as the intellectual hegemony of the Left.

It is an important contribution to the political culture of Conservatism from the late 1920s to the early 1950s with a particular emphasis on the social and intellectual history of the Conservative milieu. This book modifies our understanding of the history of the Conservative party and popular Conservatism but also more generally of the history of intellectual debate in Britain. It sheds new light on the history of the 'middlebrow' and how that category became a weapon for the Conservatives. This book will become necessary reading both for scholars and students of modern British history and politics and more generally for those interested in the history of Conservatism.

The Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge, was founded in 1929 as a 'College of citizenship' to provide, through both teaching and publications, political education for a student clientele who would carry the College's message to the localities. Although founded by the Conservative party, the College functioned autonomously, acting as a 'think tank' avant la lettre, a nexus of economic, political and cultural debate and an adult education centre. It defined a practical ideal of expertise, between 'high theory' and 'folk wisdom', and constructed a self-consciously 'middlebrow' model of intellectual. After 1945, as the Conservative party sought to jettison its Baldwinian past, Ashridge lost its political anchor and moved through complex stages to being re-founded as a management training college in 1954.

(retrieved from Amazon Tue, 25 Aug 2015 18:02:10 -0400)

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