This page was last updated March 28, 2017     

The Press
Publishing your book with SAP
Contact Us
Title/Author Index
Rights & Permissions
Social Media
Paperback on-Demand

Browse Subject

Art History
Cultural & Social Studies
Economics & Management
Geography, Environment & Migration
Jewish Studies
Latin American Studies
Library Studies
Literary Criticism & Linguistics
Middle East Studies
Politics, Media & IR
Psychology & Psychotherapy
Theatre & Drama
Theology & Religion
Women’s Studies
  Alpha Press
Libraries of Study

Asian & Asian American Studies
Contemporary Spanish Studies
Critical Inventions
Critical Voices
Demographic Developments
First Nations & Colonial Encounter
Latin American Library
Peace Politics in the Middle East
Portuguese-Speaking World
Religious Beliefs & Practices
Spanish History
Spirituality in Education

  You are in: Home > Politics, Media & International Relations > The Life and Times of Thomas Balogh  

The Life and Times of Thomas Balogh
A Macaw Among Mandarins

June Morris

Author text to follow


Thomas Balogh (1905–1985) had a conspiratorial nature and deliberately kept to the shadows so that his substantial role in political life has been little known. His predictions were usually right and he looked at economic and political issues from unconventional angles, but he was an exasperating man who thrived on controversy. He made many enemies and had numerous fallings-out, especially with civil servants, and this affected the way his advice was perceived.

This first and only biography covers his life and work: from his youth in Budapest, to his coming to Britain in 1930 and being taken up by Keynes; his advance to being a well known if highly controversial political economist; his reputation as a brilliant though eccentric don at Balliol College, Oxford; his burgeoning interest in politics; and the time of his greatest influence as economic advisor to his close friend Harold Wilson.

Balogh’s interests in North Sea Oil and Gas exploitation and his criticism of governmental failure to exact higher revenue from the oil companies is documented and the analysis is a counterbalance to the official history. June Morris’s interpretation of Balogh’s relationship with Harold Wilson and Marcia Williams and, more particularly and perhaps more controversially, the relationship between Wilson and Williams, does not match those contained in the memoirs of Bernard Donoughue and Joe Haines. And there are correctives to some of the myths surrounding Wilson’s leadership of the Labour Party and his Prime Ministership.

List of Interviewees
Budda and Pest – Two Hungarian Economists

Introduction: A Talented but Volcanic Personality

1. Early Days
2. Settling in the West
3. The War Effort
4. A Don at Balliol
5. ‘To avoid the post-war misery’: The Attlee Government
6. Development Economics
7. Wilson and the Leadership Struggle
8. At No. 10: Battles and the Civil Service
9. At No 10: Battles and Policies
10. The Fight for North Sea Oil
11. Minister of State
12. Final Years

Epilogue: A Premier Economic Scholar

Notes and Abbreviations

“The author successfully conveys the atmosphere of Whitehall in those troubled years, and captures the flavour of the times with uncanny accuracy.” Anthony Howard

“June Morris has carefully and correctly assessed Balogh’s influence on British politics in general and the Labour Party and Harold Wilson and his circle in particular. She has also examined Balogh’s standing as an Oxford academic and his economic ideas, many of which were in advance of their time, in particular his views of developmental economics. Good use is made of her privileged access to Lord Balogh’s private papers and diaries, deposited at Balliol College, Oxford, which have not yet been made available to researchers. The author’s unlocking of their wealth of information is most exciting.” Dr M. D. Kandiah, Centre for Contemporary British History, Institute of Historical Research, University of London

“Morris writes well about their relationship during Tommy’s years as the Prime Minister’s economic adviser and gives one of the more balanced accounts of life in Downing Street at the time … During all his time in Government, at first in Downing Street and later in the energy Department, Tommy played an active role in the development of policy on North Sea oil. His overriding aim was always to maximise the benefits accruing to the national economy from this new resource and to prevent the international oil companies from creaming off more than their due share of the wealth extracted from below the seabed. Tommy could legitimately take some credit for the favourable economic situation which later underpinned the Thatcher governments of the 1980s.

Aside from these weighty issues of national policy, it is clear from my own and others’ experience, that Tommy was a gifted teacher whose insights illuminated parts which other tutors couldn’t reach. He was also a man who, though he made a lot of enemies, enjoyed the respect and friendship – and often the affection – of many talented people in public and academic life. He was a many-sided man and this book does him full justice.” Balliol College Record


Publication Details

Hardback ISBN:
Paperback ISBN:
Page Extent / Format:
272 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Release Date:
Hardback, March 2007; Paperback, January 2017
  Illustrated:   No
Hardback Price:
£39.50 / $67.50
Paperback Price:
£25.00 / $34.95

Order book by phone or online

UK, Europe, Asia and Rest of the World:
Gazelle Book Services

tel. 44 (0)1524-528513


United States, Canada:
International Specialized Book Services

tel.  1-800-944-6190




© 2017 Sussex Academic Press   |   Disclaimer