Cole, George Douglas Howard, 1889–1959, English economist, labor historian, and socialist. Educated at Oxford, he was long associated with the university and held a professorship from 1944 to 1957. For many years a leading exponent of guild socialism, he later returned to his original Fabianism, acting as chairman of the Fabian Society from 1939 to 1946 and becoming its president in 1952. His many books, mainly on labor and socialism, range from popular works to scholarly studies. Among his original works are A Short History of the British Working Class Movement (3 vol., 1927; rev. ed. 1948), The British Common People (with Raymond W. Postgate, 1939; rev. ed. The British People, 1947), and A History of Socialist Thought (5 vol. in 7, 1953–60). With his wife, Margaret Isabel (Postgate) Cole, 1893–1980, he wrote over 30 detective stories as well as works on economics and politics. Her works include Beatrice Webb (1945), The Story of Fabian Socialism (1961), and a biography of her husband (1971). She also edited Beatrice Webb's diaries.
See biography of George Cole by L. P. Carpenter (1973).
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