This introductory chapter begins with a discussion of the purpose of this book, which is to explore aspects of the ideas, values, arguments, and beliefs that have informed Conservative thought in the 20th century. Conservative ideological debate is sampled and discussed at a number of key points in the party's history. The chapters cover the political economy of Arthur Balfour, English idealist thought, the ideas of Arthur Steel-Maitland, the end of the coalition with the Liberals in 1922, Conservative Book Clubs of the 1930s, the political economy of Harold Macmillan, the resignation of the Conservative Treasury team in 1958, the ideological origins of the Thatcherite revolution and finally, Conservative ideas concerning the role of the State in relation to social and economic policy during the 20th century.
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