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Beloff, Max, Baron


BELOFF, MAX, BARON (1913–1999), English historian and political scientist. Beloff, who was born in London, graduated in modern history from Oxford in 1935. From 1939 he taught history at Manchester University and returned to Oxford in 1946 as reader in the comparative study of institutions. During World War ii he served in the Royal Signal Corps. In 1957 he became professor of government and public administration at Oxford and a fellow of All Souls' College. The author of numerous works on European history, American government, and Soviet foreign policy, Beloff also wrote extensively about developments in contemporary international relations, particularly concerning Western Europe after World War ii. In The United States and the Unity of Europe (1963) he considered the prospects of European unity and the interdependence of Western Europe and the U.S. Two works on Soviet foreign policy, The Foreign Policy of Soviet Russia 192941 (1947–49) and Soviet Policy in the Far East 194451 (1953) were among the pioneering attempts to present a documentary and historical assessment of the Soviet Union's role and aims in international politics and are considered standard works in this field. Beloff's studies of American government, including The American Federal Government (1959), concentrated on the historical roots of American federalism and how its evolution shaped the structure and functioning of contemporary American politics and institutions. Among his other works are: The Age of Absolutism, 16801815 (1954); Europe and the Europeans… (1957), a report prepared at the request of the Council of Europe; The Great Powers: Essays in 20thCentury Politics (1959); and The Balance of Power (1967). In 1992 Beloff produced an autobiography, An Historian in the Twentieth Century. In the early 1970s Beloff was instrumental in founding University College, Buckingham, Britain's only purely private university, and served as its principal from 1974 to 1979. An outspoken Conservative, Beloff was knighted in 1980 and given a life peerage by Margaret Thatcher in 1981.

His sister nora beloff (1919–1997), political correspondent of The Observer in 1964–76, was the first woman political correspondent of a Fleet Street newspaper. A brother, john beloff (b. 1920), became probably the best-known serious investigator of parapsychological phenomenon in Britain, and is the author of The Existence of Mind (1962) and Parapsychology: A Concise History (1993). Another sister married the Nobel Prize-winning scientist Sir Ernest *Chain.

add. bibliography:

odnb online, s.v. "Sir Max Beloff " and "Nora Beloff."

[Brian Knei-Paz (Knapheis) /

William D. Rubinstein (2nd ed.)]

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