Death of John Atkinson Hobson, economist, social scientist and radical thinker

Along with L.T. Hobhouse, Hobson is regarded as one of the key figures associated with New Liberalism in the 1900s. Born in Derby, Hobson’s formative experiences were as a member of the Rainbow Circle (whose members went on to be prominent figures in both the Liberal and Labour parties) and as South Africa correspondent for the Manchester Guardian which led Hobson to become a trenchant critic of the British Empire. This criticism resulted in his most famous work Imperialism, a Study (1902), gaining for Hobson an international reputation. Hobson’s answer to jingoism was in a rejuvenated liberalism – most notably argued in his 1909 book The Crisis of Liberalism. The advent of World War One saw Hobson’s faith in the Liberal Party severely shaken and by 1919 he had joined the Independent Labour Party. He continued to write until late in life – one of his last works being an autobiography Confessions of an Economic Heretic.