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Thirty-four years later, when Gaitskell was Labour leader, he published a glowing memoir about his PPE years. The leftwing writer Hilary Wainwright came across it as a schoolgirl. I want to go there! But PPE made the sporadic involvement of dons and students in national politics much more systematic. This traffic has been particularly intense at one college: Balliol.

Balliol is a narrow L-shape of Victorian and older buildings, lacking in architectural fripperies, almost utilitarian compared with more aristocratic Oxford colleges.

Balliol has always had more PPE students and dons than other colleges — an elite within the elite — and has taught them in its own way. But he was a key economic adviser to the Labour prime ministers Harold Wilson and James Callaghan in the turbulent s and 70s, and to the Labour leader John Smith in the s. Between and , Graham was also a director of the Scott Trust, which controls the Guardian.

He was doing a lot of arm-waving.

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What can you do about it? Interest rates … you put them up! Something you might do in later life. I asked Graham how he felt when he detected political potential in a student. Heath was still religiously attending Balliol events when I studied modern history there half a century later. During the long midth century heyday of social democracy, some Balliol tutors enjoyed advertising their power. Like many PPEists, he came to Oxford to do a different subject and then switched.

The Prime Minister (World's Classics),Anthony Trollope, Jenny Uglow, John McCor | eBay

And like Heath, he found studying PPE a life-changing experience. Wilson went on to win more general elections than any other modern British political leader. The dons were not traditional Oxford dons.

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And economics was becoming a more and more important part of political life, as the British economy got into difficulties. Yet during the postwar years, PPE gradually lost its radicalism. One of the strengths and weaknesses of Oxford is that it is not a top-down university: what is taught is largely decided by what dons want to teach. In politics, the endless tutorials seemed so unrelated to the crises that were going on. PPE had become a technical course in how to govern. Not coincidentally, it became a favourite for the offspring of prominent politicians and economists.


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Two were daughters of the extremely well-known economists [and Labour advisers] James Meade and Nicholas Kaldor. During the s, a rebellion began against the degree that is the forgotten — and more thoughtful — precursor to the anti-PPE mood of today. The troublemaking leftwing writer Tariq Ali was part of it.

After enduring the course from to , he bet a friend that he could bring up the Vietnam war in all his final exam papers. But the dons were too canny, or too liberal. They gave him a Third. Meanwhile the wider PPE student body fragmented. The most potent product of this ferment, part of a wider questioning of British university degrees, was a long polemic, The Poverty of PPE, published in the great revolutionary year of The title was a reference to a book by Karl Marx, whom many felt the course covered inadequately, and the final text was written by Trevor Pateman, an astringent leftwinger who had just received an outstanding First.

The PPE hierarchy responded as English establishment liberals tend to when attacked by radicals: absorbing some of the criticisms to reform their institution, while leaving its fundamentals intact. An only modestly updated version of this course theme survives to this day. O xford PPE can be a stubborn, elusive enemy.

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At the university, it is both everywhere and nowhere. PPEists are generally quite outgoing, good at talking, good at flitting from one thing to another. Please take one. Unlike many other Oxford courses, PPE has no faculty building. In a city full of grand academic headquarters, PPE makes do with the partial use of two relatively anonymous facilities, half a mile apart: a low glassy block for politics and economics and a plain stone one for philosophy.

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How would he sum up the current mood of the committee? Current Stock: 1. Quantity: Decrease Quantity: Increase Quantity:. Share This Article. Product Description The tough-mindedness of the social satire in and its air of palpable integrity give this novel a special place in Anthony Trollope's Literary career. Product Videos.

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Trollope, Anthony - The Way We Live Now - HB Oxford World's Classics

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