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Robert Owen and his Legacy
J. F. C. Harrison has written that ‘for each age there is a new view of Mr Owen’, which is proof of the fertility and continuing relevance of his ideas. Not just in Britain and America but today around the world anti-poverty campaigners, birth-controllers, collectivists, communitarians, co-operators, ecologists, educationalists, environmentalists, feminists, humanitarians, internationalists, paternalistic capitalists, secularists, campaigners for social justice, trade unionists, urban planners, utopians, welfare reformers can all find something to admire and inspire in the treasure trove that is the thought and actions of Robert Owen. Owen was a creative genius of global significance, a radical writer and activist of international reputation and reach who has inspired those seeking to change human society for the better. The contributors to this volume include not only many of the recognized experts on the life, work and legacy of Owen, but also work from younger scholars or scholars coming to the field afresh. The volume presents the most recent and original research on Owen. Owen notoriously (and impressively) dabbled in many spheres, and this is reflected in the its breadth of content. The unifying themes are Owen’s profile in his own time, and the relevance of his ideas for the generations that followed. His importance for educational and social philosophy, for political economy and for the political theory of socialism are all discussed, as are his contribution as a philanthropic employer, his political activities and the specificities of his historical context.
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