Cole (1889-1959) was educated at St Paul's School and Balliol College, Oxford. He was fellow of Magdalen (1912-19), University, All Souls (1944-57) and Nuffield colleges in Oxford, university reader in economics (1925-44) and Chichele professor of social and political theory (1944-57). A prolific author, Cole accepted socialism as a "way of life" in 1906. He was a guild socialist, and a member of the Fabian Society (1908-15, 1928-59), the Fabian Research Department, the Independent Labour Party and the Labour Party (from 1919). He was active in adult education, and contributed to the organization and life of the Workers' Educational Association. Upon arrival in Oxford he invited socialist and radical undergraduates (including Evan Durbin , Colin Clark , John Dugdale , John Betjeman , James Meade and Hugh Gaitskell ) to his house for weekly discussions (the "Cole Group"). He was a founder of the Society for Socialist Inquiry and Propaganda (1930) and of the New Fabian Research Bureau (1931; secretary until 1935, chairperson 1937-39). He was a member of the Economic Advisory Council (1930). He was a very prolific writer in economics, social theory and labour history, and also wrote 29 detective novels with his wife Margaret.
See list of letters .
Source: DNB ; www ; E. Durbin, New Jerusalems. The Labour Party and the Economics of Democratic Socialism (1985).
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