New PDF release: Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 1: 1897-1945

New PDF release: Aneurin Bevan: A Biography: Volume 1: 1897-1945

By Michael Foot

Publish yr note: First released in 1962

Michael Foot's two-volume biography of Aneurin 'Nye' Bevan (1897-1960) - arguably Britain's maximum socialist, indelibly linked to the founding of the nationwide well-being provider, - is likely one of the significant political biographies of the final century. it's the lifetime of an inspirational baby-kisser, written by way of person who knew and unabashedly favourite him.

Volume I, first released in 1962, describes Bevan's lifestyles from his start in Tredegar within the South Wales Valleys, via his abortive education, his employment at a colliery and the next embody of socialism that might make him a pace-setter between South Wales miners. It follows his route to the home of Commons as a Labour MP with a fast-rising attractiveness as a defender of the operating category; and his marriage in 1934 to fellow firebrand MP Jennie Lee. the amount closes with Labour's landslide election victory of 1945, and Bevan's appointment as Minister of Health.

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Sample text

These enthusiasms were relatively typical for young men of their social class and period; none the less they reveal the start of Darwin’s lasting fascination with science and the natural world. Like many boys, he seemed content otherwise to wander about the countryside following his own interests. The documents preserved from those days suggest that he did not thrive in the rigid classical structure of male education at the time. Life took an exciting twist when his father took him away from school early, and in 1825 sent him and his brother Erasmus to Edinburgh Medical School, where he began studying medicine.

There was widespread unease about any social or political activities that threatened the status quo. Prime among these were evolutionary notions: publicly to adopt trans- formist ideas was at that time to brand oneself as a dangerous political radical. Most notorious of all were the two men Darwin had already read, Jean-Baptiste Lamarck (1744–1829) and his own grandfather Erasmus Darwin (1731–1802). Between the years 1798 and 1809, Lamarck and Erasmus Darwin had independently proposed that animals and plants were not directly controlled by a divine creator but spontaneously generated out of inorganic materials.

Darwin also joined the Geological Society of London, where he delivered three short papers describing some of his geological results and met Charles Lyell for the first time. Lyell was overjoyed to find someone who was so appreciative of his Principles of Geology and the two became close friends. Everything about Lyell’s personality chimed with Darwin’s. ‘I saw more of Lyell than of any other man both before and after my marriage… His delight in science was ardent, and he felt the keenest interest in the future progress of mankind.

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