Government and Expertise: Specialists, Administrators and Professionals, 1860-1919 by Roy MacLeod
A generation has passed since the appearance of Oliver MacDonagh's article 'The Nineteenth-century Revolution in Government: A Reappraisal' (Historical Journal, 1958), which gave enormous impetus to the study of the 'silent revolution' that had overtaken Whitehall and Westminster between 1830 and 1914. Following MacDonagh, scholars have turned with fresh eyes to old sources - departmental archives, bill payers and private memoirs - to explore the ways and means by which the changes he described had occurred. This book offers selected perspectives on an important facet of new research into the administrative revolution: the idea of 'expertise', the role of 'experts' and of administrators and professionals in creating the technique of Victorian government. It also pays tribute to MacDonagh's seminal insight, in offering an indication of work in progress along a research front which now incorporates disciplines beyond administrative history in an international setting.