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E. H. Carr pp 165-197 | Cite as

Carr and his Early Critics: Responses to The Twenty Years’ Crisis, 1939–46

  • Peter Wilson

Abstract

It is an interesting but little known fact that although E.H. Carr’s The Twenty Years’ Crisis is generally regarded to have had a devastating impact on the ‘utopian’ thinking of the inter-war period, the Utopians themselves, or at any rate those so labelled by Carr, did not feel particularly devastated by it. Norman Angeli and Alfred Zimmern, two of Carr’s chief ‘utopian’ targets, wrote highly critical reviews of the book, and although he did not, to my knowledge, publish his thoughts on the subject, Arnold Toynbee, Carr’s other major living target, agreed whole heartedly with what his utopian fellow travellers had to say. In addition, a number of thinkers not specifically indicted by Carr felt sufficiently wounded by his remarks to write lengthy replies. Among them can be counted a distinguished moral philosopher, Susan Stebbing, and a fellow man of the Left who shared many of Carr’s ideas about the ‘New Society’, the Fabian and Bloomsburyite, Leonard Woolf. Other less than convinced respondents included the historian, R.W. Seton-Watson and, writing under a pseudonym, Richard Grossman, future government minister and political diarist, then a Labour local councillor and a journalist on the New Statesman.

Keywords

Foreign Policy International Morality Collective Security Intellectual Freedom Military Alliance 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 9.
    E.H. Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis: An Introduction to the Study of International Relations (London: Macmillan, 1939), pp. 102–12.Google Scholar
  2. 12.
    Zimmern, ‘A Realist in Search of Utopia’, Spectator, 24 November 1939, p. 750.Google Scholar
  3. 14.
    R.W. Seton-Watson, ‘Politics and Power’, Listener, 7 December 1939, Supplement, p. 48.Google Scholar
  4. 18.
    R. Coventry, ‘The Illusions of Power’, New Statesman, Vol. 28, No. 457 25 November 1939, pp. 761–2Google Scholar
  5. (reprinted in R.H.S. Crossman, The Charm of Politics and Other Essays in Political Criticism (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1958), pp. 91–4).Google Scholar
  6. 22.
    L. Woolf, The War for Peace (London: Routledge, 1940), p. 129.Google Scholar
  7. 24.
    L. Woolf, ‘Utopia and Reality’, Political Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 2 A6pril–June 1940, p. 172.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 27.
    L. Susan Stebbing, Ideals and Illusions (London: Watts and Co., 1941), pp. 6–7.Google Scholar
  9. 34.
    F.A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (London: Ark Paperbacks, 1986 [1944]), pp. 138–41, 169–72.Google Scholar
  10. I comment on this further in my ‘The New Europe Debate in Wartime Britain’, in Philomena Murray and Paul Rich, eds, Visions of European Unity (Boulder: Westview Press, 1996), pp. 39–62.Google Scholar
  11. 36.
    W.T.R. Fox, ‘E.H. Carr and Political Realism: Vision and Revision’, Review of International Studies, Vol. 11, No. 1 1985, pp. 1–16CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. E.H. Carr, Britain: A Study of Foreign Policy from the Versailles Treaty to the Outbreak of War (London: Longmans, 1939).Google Scholar
  13. 41.
    See F.S. Northedge, The League of Nations: Its Life and Times 1920–1946 (Leicester: Leicester University Press, 1986), pp. 46–69, 317–27.Google Scholar
  14. 42.
    A. Zimmern, The League of Nations and the Rule of Law (London: Macmillan, 1935), pp. 277–85.Google Scholar
  15. 53.
    Carr, The Twenty Years’ Crisis, second edition, (London, Macmillan, 1946), p. 225.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Wilson

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