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Cole, George Douglas Howard (1889–1959)

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A British socialist intellectual, G.D.H. Cole was born in Cambridge in 1889. He grew up in London and was educated at Balliol College, Oxford. As a young Oxford don, Cole came to prominence during the second decade of the century as a leading advocate of guild socialism (a doctrine of workers’ control in industry) and adviser to the labour and trade union movements. After the collapse of guild socialism, Cole continued to be the outstanding socialist theorist and Labour Party intellectual in Britain during the interwar and immediate postwar periods, always combining academic work with political commitment. An encyclopaedist and polymath, Cole’s published output was prodigious in both volume and range. He produced over a hundred books, and at different periods held academic posts in three disciplines (philosophy, economics, political theory) and could easily have held posts in at least two others.

This chapter was originally published in The New Palgrave: A Dictionary of Economics, 1st edition, 1987. Edited by John Eatwell, Murray Milgate and Peter Newman

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  • Cole, M. 1971. The life of G.D.H. Cole. London: Macmillan.

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  • Wright, A.W. 1979. G.D.H. Cole and socialist democracy. Oxford: Clarendon.

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Wright, A. (1987). Cole, George Douglas Howard (1889–1959). In: Durlauf, S., Blume, L. (eds) The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics. Palgrave Macmillan, London.

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  • Publisher Name: Palgrave Macmillan, London

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-349-95121-5

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