Max Beloff 1913–1999

Nevil Johnson

in Proceedings of the British Academy, Volume 120, Biographical Memoirs of Fellows, II

Published by British Academy

Published in print December 2003 | ISBN: 9780197263020
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734199 | DOI:

Series: Proceedings of the British Academy

Max Beloff 1913–1999

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Max Beloff was both a historian and political scientist, which makes a fair assessment of his work on both fields difficult. This is in part because whilst much of what he wrote was history, much of it was also what might be called ‘public affairs from an historical standpoint’. Inevitably this meant that what was intended to be straightforward historical analysis sometimes ran the risk of being too heavily influenced by current preoccupations arising in the sphere of public affairs. Yet this idea that the historian should be concerned with public affairs was very much to the fore in the 1930s when Beloff was at Oxford, and to some extent his ideal became and remained that of the scholar-historian who brings his knowledge to bear on the problems and controversies of his own times. What stands out in all Beloff's writing — historical or otherwise — is his fluency, clarity of presentation, and cogency in getting across the principal points he wants to make.

Keywords: historians; political scientists; public affairs; Oxford; scholar

Chapter.  8792 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Methods and Historiography

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