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So Clean: Lord Leverhulme, Soap and Civilization

Brian Lewis

This book is an unorthodox biography of William Hesketh Lever, 1st Lord Leverhulme (1851-1925), the founder of the Lever Brothers' Sunlight Soap empire.

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Book Information

Publisher: Manchester University Press
Publish Date: 11/27/2012
Pages: 246
ISBN-13: 9780719089138
ISBN-10: 0719089131
Language: English

Full Description

This book is an unorthodox biography of William Hesketh Lever, 1st Lord Leverhulme (1851-1925), the founder of the Lever Brothers' Sunlight Soap empire. Unlike previous biographies, which have focused on the man's life story and eccentricities, or just considered one aspect of his career, So clean places him squarely in his social and cultural context and is fully informed by recent historical scholarship. Much more than a warts-and-all biography, the book uses Lever as an entry-point for contextualized and comparative essays on the history of advertising; on factory paternalism, town planning, the Garden City movement and their ramifications across the twentieth century; and on colonialism and forced labour in the Belgian Congo and the South Pacific. It concludes with a discussion of his extraordinary attempt, in his final years, to transform crofting and fishing in the Outer Hebrides. Written in an engaging and accessible style, So Clean will appeal to academics and students working in business, social, cultural and imperial history.

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