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Training minds for the war of ideasAshridge College, the Conservative Party and the cultural politics of Britain, 1929-54$
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Clarisse Berthezène

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780719086496

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719086496.001.0001

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Ashridge and the media

Ashridge and the media

(p.186) 10 Ashridge and the media
Training minds for the war of ideas

Clarisse Berthezène

Manchester University Press

In the interwar years the political education institutions the Conservatives created, the Philip Stott College and the Bonar Law Memorial College, Ashridge were designed to attract a large student body drawn from both the middle and wage-earning classes. But the students themselves were also seen as trainee ‘missionaries’ who would return to their localities and teach as they had been taught. This was particularly the case with Ashridge where the creation of ‘Ashridge Circles’ across the country meant that the College was engaged in extensive extra-mural work, and that its pedagogic reach extended far beyond its immediate student clientele. Likewise, the Ashridge hierarchy played a key role in creating the book club, the National Book Association, which was set up to combat the influence of Gollancz’s Left Book Club and to engage in a ‘battle of the books’ to end the Left’s dominance of one area of Britain’s political culture. This section examines the diffusion of the Conservative creed through the use that was made of literary, cinematic, radio and other means of broadcasting.

Keywords:   National Book Association, Right Book Club, Left Book Club, Victor Gollancz, ‘Battle of the Books’

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