In his day, `Josh' Wedgwood was one of Britain's best-known and most outspoken Radical politicians. He served in three wars, and, in a Parliamentary career lasting from 1906 to 1943, first with the Liberals, and then with Labour, he fought to uphold personal liberty and to limit the power of the state. Instead of the collectivism of socialists or social imperialists, Wedgwood advocated a Radical vision of Victorian Individualism as the solution to the problems of social inequality at home and growing threats abroad that Britain faced in the first half of the twentieth century. His support of individual freedom, a redistribution of landowner's wealth, and a voluntary and democratic British Empire received only limited support in his own lifetime, but he fought for them with vigour and passion throughout his career. This study of his life throws new light upon some of the defining ideological and policy issues of the most turbulent period of modern British history. Paul Mulvey teaches at the London School of Economics.
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