LORD HALDANE: Scapegoat for Liberalism by Stephan E. Koss

LORD HALDANE: Scapegoat for Liberalism

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KIRKUS REVIEW

The author states that his study of Richard Burdon Haldane (Viscount Haldane of Cloan) is ""intended to constitute both a chapter in political biography and a commentary upon Liberalism in decline."" In this view the displacement of Lord Haldane from the Liberal Cabinet in 1915 by his Liberal colleagues and former friends represented less a genuine dissatisfaction with Haldane himself than the bankruptcy of the Liberal ideology in times of distress and change. However Haldane who was vociferously attacked in the press, had a penchant for leaving himself open to misinterpretation. He was very much an intellectual, a translator of Schopenhauer, an admirer of German culture, a friend of the Webbs and other Fabians, a man whose loyalties were more to ideas than to party traditions. Since he was supposed to have been an expert in German affairs he was blamed-as Chief of the War Office and as Lord Chancellor-for failure to alert his government to Germany's intentions. Koss, however, his staunch advocate sees Haldane as vindicated when Ramsey MacDonald subsequently brought him in to the first Labour Government as Lord Chancellor. Koss has had access to voluminous original sources and his study is a thorough one.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1969
Publisher: Columbia Univ. Press