This new and revised edition of William Beveridge remains the only documented biography of the most influential social reformer of the twentieth century. In Britain and Europe the Beveridge Plan of 1942 is still widely regarded as the seminal document of the modern 'welfare state'. Yet if Beveridge was the 'father of the welfare state' he was also, as this study shows, one of its earliest and most severe critics. Jose Harris explores Beveridge's life - the young social worker at Toynbee Hall; the 'New Liberal' reformer in Edwardian Whitehall; the stormy director of the London School of Economics; and the 'People's William' of the reconstruction movement after the Second World War. She combines biography with social and intellectual history, revealing many of the underlying principles and contradictions of social policy at different periods of the twentieth century. This new edition draws upon extensive new archive material to expand Harris's account of the origins and the aftermath of the Beveridge Plan.
It also explores much more fully than was possible in the first edition the tortuous history of Beveridge's personal and emotional life, and its role in shaping his ideas and public career.
Publisher: Oxford University Press