Thomas Balogh (1905-1985) had a conspiratorial nature and deliberately kept to the shadows so that his substantial role in political life has been little known. His predictions were usually right and he looked at economic and political issues from unconventional angles, but he was an exasperating man who thrived on controversy. He made many enemies and had numerous fallings-out, especially with the civil service, and this affected the way his advice was perceived. This first and only biography covers his life and work: from his youth in Budapest, to his coming to Britain in 1930 and being taken up by Keynes; his advance to being a well known if highly controversial political economist; his reputation as a brilliant though eccentric don at Balliol College, Oxford; his burgeoning interest in politics (both domestic and in underdeveloped countries); and the time of his greatest influence as economic advisor to his close friend Harold Wilson, and later as a Minister of State. The author provides new insights into the Labour Party and Labour government policies between the mid 1950s until 1982.
Balogh was such an acute observer of the values and mores of the time that his diary comments throw new and entertaining light on social as well as on political life at the highest level. Interviews with over thirty of the most eminent people in the political/economic world of his era also throw new light on the issues and events of the period.
June Morris, now retired, spent much of her working life in research into government policy at various universities and non-departmental public bodies, including work with Thomas Balogh at University College London. Her research has been supported by the British Academy, and she was awarded the Alistair Horne Visiting Fellowship at St Antonys College, Oxford, in order to further her research for this book.
Introduction: A Talented but Volcanic Personality; Early Days; Settling in the West; The War Effort; A Don at Balliol; 'To avoid the post-war misery': The Attlee Government; Development Economics; Wilson and the Leadership Struggle; At No. 10: Battles and the Civil Service; At No 10: Battles and Policies; The Fight for North Sea Oil; Minister of State; Final Years; Epilogue: A Premier Economic Scholar; Index.