One of the most significant movements in the world of learning in the twentieth century was the rise and development of the social sciences. However, few attempts have been made to see how far social scientists have travelled on the road to studying and understanding human society. First published in 1972, the lectures reprinted in this book aim to trace the development of the social sciences during the twentieth century and to show the role of the London School of Economics and Political Science in this development since it was founded in 1895.
Each of the very distinguished lecturers was asked to take the larger view, to be critical where necessary, to treat his subject in the context of the world of learning. The result is a survey of exceptional interest in which the growth of the social sciences is analysed from a number of contrasting viewpoints, each of which ranges widely and often with provocative brilliance over themes that are of general concern.
The introduction by Professor W.A. Robson, which was not part of the original lecture series, is in itself a critical assessment of the field that will be read with close attention.