COCKETT, Dr Richard, b 1961, historian

Scope and Content

Papers mainly collated by Dr Richard Cockett during research for his book Thinking the unthinkable: think-tanks and the economic counter-revolution, 1931-1983 (Harper Collins, London, 1994), 1942-1996, comprising journal and newspaper articles, official reports and correspondence, 1942-1992, relating to right-wing economic think-tanks, including the Adam Smith Institute, the Society of Individualists (and Sir Ernest John Pickstone Benn, 3rd Bt), Aims of Industry, the Mont Perelin Society, the Longbow Group (and Diana Spearman), the Selsdon Group, the Institute for the Study of Conflict (and Brian Rossiter Crozier), the Institute for Economic Affairs, the Centre for Policy Studies, The St James Society, and The Carl Menger Society; material relating to influential economic and political advisors, 1952-1996, notably newspaper and journal articles by Arthur Seldon, Sir Alfred Sherman, Professor Timothy George Congden, and Phillip Denis Andrew Vander Elst; miscellaneous reports, notes and newspaper cuttings relating to the activities, and influence on various governments, of political and economic think-tanks, 1952-1992.

Administrative / Biographical History

No information available at present.
Publications: editor of Anatomy of decline: the political journalism of Peter Jenkins (Cassell, London, 1995); David Astor and the Observer (Deutsch, London, 1991); editor of My dear Max: the letters of Brendan Bracken to Lord Beaverbrook, 1925-1958 (Historians' Press, London, 1990); Twilight of truth: Chamberlain, appeasement, and the manipulation of the press (Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1989).


Arranged in 2 sections: papers relating to specific think-tanks, and papers of influential individuals.

Access Information

Open, though some confidential files remain closed. Apply to Archivist for details.

Other Finding Aids

Temporary handlist and on-line catalogue available.

Archivist's Note

Sources: British Library of Political and Economic Science catalogue; British Library On-Line Public Access Catalogue 97. Compiled by Sarah Aitchison as part of the RSLP AIM25 project.

Conditions Governing Use

Apply to Archivist for copyright details.

Custodial History

Given by Richard Cockett in 1997.

Related Material

The BLPES also holds material relating to the Centre for Policy Studies.


Thinking the unthinkable: think-tanks and the economic counter-revolution, 1931-1983 (Harper Collins, London, 1994).