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Welsh History Review


Vol. 17, nos. 1-4 1994-95

A radical Hegelian: the political and social philosophy of Henry Jones. Book review.

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the Irish crossing of the early twentieth century; and Milford Haven, the world-class oil
port of the last quarter of the twentieth century. The volume has a good deal to say about
all three; what is unfamiliar, to the non-specialist, is the importance of Pembroke Dock
in naval shipbuilding. The chapter on the dockyards may be more anecdotal than analyt-
ical, but that helps it to evoke the glory days when the yards were in the vanguard of
Victorian naval developments, building early ironclads, the first all-steel ships, and,
before the era of Dreadnoughts, the largest battleships. The yards went into decline
before 1914, and, after wartime bustle mainly as repair yards, were closed in 1926. The
cycle of rise, decline and extinction was shared by the coal and slate industries, with
similar chronology; the great oil terminals and refineries of the 1970s were outflanked
by the rise of North Sea oil; and farming, while by no means unprosperous since the
1930s, has provided work for fewer and fewer people. One is left wondering whether, at
the end of the period covered, the county had any economy worth speaking of.
What it does have is a history which will do much to preserve awareness of its iden-
tity through the days when it still forms merely a segment of Dyfed, an identity
embellished by such distinctions as being the sole source of coffins made of slate, for
those who fancied them, and the home of the verdict which resoundingly vindicated the
humanity of the jury system: 'Not guilty, m'lud, but he must not do it again'. There is
rather more than a suggestion that the county had a split identity, with a deeply
entrenched border dividing the Welsh-speaking north from the English-speaking south.
But since this division does not seem to have been mirrored in any similarly intense reli-
gious or cultural differences, and since the whole county appears to have been united in
regarding Haverfordwest as its shopping and cultural centre, it may be expected that all
parts of the community will welcome this volume and enjoy the finely detailed objectiv-
ity of its record.
Institute of Historical Research, University of London.
David Boucher and Andrew Vincent. University of Wales Press, Cardiff, 1993. Pp. x,
263. £ 35.00.
The title of this book, A Radical Hegelian, might equally refer to Karl Marx. Marx
was a left-wing young Hegelian who transformed the master's philosophy along radical
lines. Like Jones, Marx put much emphasis on changing the world as well as interpret-
ing it. Both sought progress and refused to look down upon the ordinary working
person. But Henry Jones was a radical Hegelian in a different sense. He was of a later
generation than Marx and received his Hegelianism not from those who had studied at
the feet of the philosopher himself but rather from the remarkable school of British
However, Jones's Hegelianism suffered the same fate as Marx's. Both strands of
Hegelianism collapsed in the face of extraordinary human events. Just as many of
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