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There was a strong continuity of mistrust since the nineteenth century towards a discipline that would ‘empower’ society in any way thus making it “form men’s minds and control their behaviour” (Lukes in Emile Durkheim, His Life and Work: A Historical and Critical Study. Allen Lane, London, 1973). For a long time, sociology seemed like a product unsuitable to the British mindset and to the country owing to a strong belief in society where the individual was considered an illusion. But the most important thing is that the discipline was of French origins as (Palmer in Am J Sociol 32: 756–761, 1927) noted, which was a sufficient cause for disapproval. Rocquin’s book offers a fresh new perspective on the interwar years to show that, against all expectations, it was the British contribution that remained remarkable. But both British and French destinies have always been intertwined and the ‘battle for society’, this book argues, no longer has to be.
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