The Culture of Secrecy: Britain 1832-1998

Hardcover | January 1, 1999

byDavid Vincent

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The Culture of Secrecy is the first comprehensive study of the restriction of official information in modern British history. It seeks to understand why secrets have been kept, and how systems of control have been constructed - and challenged - over the past hundred and sixty years. The authortranscends the conventional boundaries of political or social history in his wide-ranging diagnosis of the `British disease' - the legal forms and habits of mind which together have constituted the national tradition of discreet reserve. The chapters range across bureaucrats and ballots, gossip andgay rights, doctors and dole investigators in their exploration of the ethical basis of power in the public, professional, commercial and domestic spheres. Professor Vincent examines concepts such as privacy and confidentiality, honour and integrity, openness and freedom of expression, which haveserved as benchmarks in the development of the liberal state and society.

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The Culture of Secrecy is the first comprehensive study of the restriction of official information in modern British history. It seeks to understand why secrets have been kept, and how systems of control have been constructed - and challenged - over the past hundred and sixty years. The authortranscends the conventional boundaries of p...

David Vincent is Professor of Social History and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Keele.

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Format:HardcoverPublished:January 1, 1999Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198203071

ISBN - 13:9780198203070

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Table of Contents

BibliographyIndex1. The Problem of Secrecy2. Honourable Secrecy 1832-18703. The Road to Regulation, 1870-19114. Public Knowledge, 1911-19455. Citizenship and Secrecy, 1945-19726. Secrecy and Reform, 1972-19897. The British WayAfterword

Editorial Reviews

`an admirable survey of secrecy, both at the national and at the private levels, over the last century and a half of the country's fast changing history.'Stephen Fleming, Irish Independent (Dublin), 15/05/99.