Morrow, John 1951-
Morrow, John 1951-
Born February 15, 1951. Education: University of Canterbury, M.A.; York University, Ph.D.
Professor. Victoria University of Wellington, School of History, Politics and Philosophy, Wellington, New Zealand, professor of political theory; University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand, professor of political studies, 2002—, dean of arts, 2003—. Bye Fellow of Robinson College, Cambridge; guest lecturer and visiting scholar at the Folger Centre for the Study of British Political Thought, Washington, DC; visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh.
Coleridge's Political Thought: Property, Morality, and the Limits of Traditional Discourse, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1990.
(Editor) Coleridge's Writings, Princeton University Press (Princeton, NJ), 1991.
(With Mark Francis) A History of English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century, St. Martin's Press (New York, NY), 1994.
A History of Political Thought: A Thematic Introduction, New York University Press (New York, NY), 1998, 2nd edition published as History of Western Political Thought: A Thematic Introduction, Palgrave Macmillan (New York, NY), 2005.
(Editor) Young England: The New Generation: a Selection of Primary Texts, Leicester University Press (New York, NY), 1999.
Thomas Carlyle, Hambledon Continuum (New York, NY), 2006.
(Editor) T.H. Green, Ashgate (Burlington, VT), 2007.
John Morrow has been a professor of political studies at the University of Auckland in New Zealand since 2002. Prior to that, he was a professor of political theory at the School of History, Politics and Philosophy at Victoria University of Wellington. Morrow has been a Bye Fellow of Robinson College in Cambridge, England; a guest lecturer and visiting scholar at the Folger Centre for the Study of British Political Thought, Washington, DC; and a visiting fellow at the Institute for Advanced Studies in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland. His teaching and research interests revolve around political theory and the history of political thought, with a focus on nineteenth-century British and European political thought. Morrow has authored and edited several books on the subject, including 1986's T.H. Green: Lectures on the Principles of Political Obligation, and Other Writings, 1990's Coleridge's Political Thought: Property, Morality, and the Limits of Traditional Discourse, and 1991's Coleridge's Writings.
In 1994, Morrow teamed up with Mark Francis to write A History of English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century, which takes a look at nineteenth-century political ideas in England. Considered a "timely and innovative book" by English Historical Review contributor Michael Freeden, the book centers around the authors' assertion "that a distinctive feature of nineteenth-century political thought is its breach with the ‘languages’ which prevailed in this domain during the eighteenth century," as critic Julia Stapleton put it in her review of the book for Victorian Studies. The authors look at some of the more obvious political thinkers of the time, such as Jeremy Bentham, J.S. Mill, and T.H. Green, as well as some less-obvious choices, such as William Hazlitt, Sir James Mackintosh, and Matthew Arnold. "The book achieves a high standard of scholarship throughout, and the authors' inclusion of thinkers from other disciplines than formal political theory is commendable," remarked Stapleton in her review. "Particularly good is the discussion of studies of the British constitution in the early years of the nineteenth century by J.L. De Lolme, John Millar, and Henry Hallam: Mark Francis and John Morrow argue persuasively that constitutional theory provided an important but neglected ‘substitute’ for political theory at this time," she added. "This is a work of vigorous style and succinct views, stimulating on every page, even when controversial. It will be of great benefit to historians and political theorists alike," concluded Freeden.
Morrow went on to write 1998's A History of Political Thought: A Thematic Introduction, which was published in a second edition in 2005 as History of Western Political Thought: A Thematic Introduction. Using a thematic structure to organize the book's material, Morrow attempts to "display political thought as a trans-temporal and cross-cultural conversation," Paul Gillen wrote in his review for the Australian Journal of Political Science. "The range of Morrow's erudition is truly impressive, and the discussions of Hobbes, Bodin, Rousseau, Hegel and Marx are excellent. Passages on Coleridge, Bosanquet and Green, philosophers in whom Morrow is a specialist, should help to raise their subdued profiles," commended Gillen. However, Gillen also felt that Morrow's use of thematic structure wasn't always completely successful, such as his pairing of Max Weber and Adolph Hitler.
In his 2006 book Thomas Carlyle, Morrow takes a look at this key figure in Victorian literature. Born to a poor family in the Scottish village of Ecclefechan in 1795, Carlyle went on to achieve literary fame with work ranging from major historical undertakings on the French Revolution and Frederick the Great to controversial political manifestos such as the Latter Day Pamphlets. In Thomas Carlyle, Morrow takes the reader through Carlyle's personal and professional life, including his early attempts to become part of the clergy, his rise to literary fame, and his tumultuous marriage.
Morrow told CA: "I am especially fond of my Coleridge work. There are a numer of reasons for this: it was my first postdoctoral project and I found it invigorating to start from scratch again; the reception of the work was very positive, and in general I was pleased to come through the scrutiny of a formidable body of Coleridge scholars; over the course of the project I came to really admire Coleridge's skills as a prose writer and to appreciate his scholarship. Finally, this was the last bit of work that I did using pre-word-processing techniques. Despite this, it still reads pretty well and my office was not inundated with the endless drafts that now seem necessary to produce anything resembling clear prose and well-structured arguments."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Australian Journal of Political Science, November, 1998, Paul Gillen, review of A History of Political Thought: A Thematic Introduction, p. 490.
English Historical Review, February, 1997, Michael Freeden, review of A History of English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century, p. 235.
Political Science, Volume 43, number 2, 1991, Gregory Claeys, review of Coleridge's Writings and Coleridge's Political Thought: Property, Morality, and the Limits of Traditional Discourse, pp. 201-202.
Reference & Research Book News, May, 2007, review of Thomas Carlyle.
Wordsworth Circle, Volume 23, 1992, J.G.A. Pocock, review of Coleridge's Writings and Coleridge's Political Thought, pp. 201-202.
Victorian Studies, winter, 1996, Julia Stapleton, review of A History of English Political Thought in the Nineteenth Century, p. 256.
University of Auckland, Faculty of Arts Web site,http://www.arts.auckland.ac.nz/ (December 7, 2007).