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British Business and Protection 1903-1932 (Hardback)
  • British Business and Protection 1903-1932 (Hardback)
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British Business and Protection 1903-1932 (Hardback)

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£112.50
Hardback 504 Pages / Published: 28/03/1996
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This is the first in-depth study of the involvement of businessmen in the campaign for Tariff Reform, the most important and pervasive political debate on economic policy in the first three decades of the twentieth century. Previously published work on Tariff Reform has concentrated on its political or "social-imperialist" dimensions, and our knowledge of businessmen's motivations, objectives, and strategies has been under-developed. This book is organized around an analysis of the pressure and propaganda groups directed, or supposedly directed, by protectionist businessmen themselves. Detailed treatment of Joseph Chamberlain's Tariff Commission before the Great War, and of successor organizations such as the Empire Development Union and the Empire Industries Association, provide a thread of continuity from Chamberlain's Birmingham speech in 1903 to the Import Duties Act in 1932. Less overtly political bodies, such as the Federation of British Industries, the National Union of Manufacturers, and the chambers of commerce, are also studied. The book includes the first in-depth investigation into the development of protectionism during the First World War, and presents a new analysis of the turbulent events of 1929-1932. Andrew Marrison gives particular attention to the questions of economic motivation and industry-alignment - areas where oversimplification and generalization have been common - and to the relationship between business participants and their political mentors. The general conclusion is one of a "primacy of politics", a fragmentation of the corporate ideal, in which the lack of influence of the businessman, and especially of the manufacturer, in British politics and British society meant that the Edwardians' fear of protectionist vested interests was highly exaggerated. The cunning, grasping businessman of legend is found to be little more than fiction.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198202981
Number of pages: 504
Weight: 996 g
Dimensions: 242 x 163 x 35 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
In this long-awaited study, Andrew Marrison provides a comprehensive account of the search by British businessmen for a protective tariff ... this book is to be warmly welcomed as a complement to other recent studies of tariffs, protection, and the politics of business in early twentieth-century Britain. * Anthony Howe, London School of Economics, Business History, Vol. 39, No. 2, April '97 *
One pleasing aspect of this book, by no means guaranteed in modern academia, is that its contents fairly reflect its title. This monograph is a mine of information, written with authority, and faithful to its essential purpose. Its breadth and depth are reflected in the considerable range of source material consulted ... an impressive and authoritative work, carefully executed and a fitting reminder of the benefits still to be derived from a judicious blend of secondary, primary, and near-primary sources. * W.R. Garside, University of Birmingham, The Economic History Review, Volume L, No. 2, May 1997 *
substantial and learned work ... this study affords a most valuable, almost unique insight into the slow but irreversible process wich converted a society wedded in principle and by what be termed traditional prejudice to free trade into one which came meekly to accept a fully protectionist policy by almost universal consent. * Sidney Pollard, University of Sheffield, History 83/269 *
this detailed study of the involvement of British business in the campaign to end free trade reveals industrialists' political weakness and subservience to the will of politicians ... This is a fine piece of scholarship. The research is thorough, arguments are judicious and where speculation has been necessary, it has been clearly signalled and is never partisan. This will deservedly become the definitive account of the tariff reform campaign. * Alan Booth, University of Exeter, Labour History Revierw, Vol. 62, Part 1, 1997 *
This large and impressive work, rich in detail and perceptive in analysis, has been more than twenty years in the making and should hold its place as a major contribution to its subject well into the next century. Dr Marrison's study ... adds some interesting material to the current debate about the structure of British capitalism and the relations between that capitalism and the state. * Peter Cain, Sheffield Hallam University, 20C British History, Vol. 8, No. 2 '97 *

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