Tales from Houghton Street: Jeffrey Golden


Jeffrey Golden
Clara Cook
Relationship to LSE
1971 General Course, 1975 PhD International Relations; 2010-2013 Visiting Professor, Department of Law; Governor; 2014 Honorary Fellow
Student life at LSE; LSE in the 1970s; Teaching at LSE; Campus; London; Notable people


Track 1 [15:04] [Session one: 11 July 2015] Jeffrey Golden [JG], born 1950. 1971 General Course, 1975 PhD International Relations; 2010-2013 Visiting Professor, Law; Governor; 2014 Honorary Fellow. JG’s first visit to study on General Course in 1970-1971, focussed on international relations. JG describes General Course as a student’s dream - one year, non- degree programme mainly for overseas students. There were many Americans doing their junior year abroad. JG had studied for two years in USA and returned to complete his degree. [00:19] Returned as a graduate student to study for a PhD, the politics of Judicial appointments at International Court of Justice. [1:48] Initial disappointment with the campus after two years at a large university. LSE was three buildings and an alley. Houghton Street was a taxi short cut. [2:07] JG remembers the experience of studying with students from very different backgrounds with diverse ideas. LSE was very international. [3:07] JG was involved in Millennium journal and staff in the International Relations Department encouraged students to contribute. JG had an article published in the first edition. As a graduate student he became editor-in-chief. Describes joking with a hotel opening in Wall Street called ‘Millenium’ a misspelling. [4:26] JG said he stopped noticing the building when he noticed the faculty - ‘intellectual giants’ – these included Karl Popper, Michael Oakeshott, Ralph Milliband, William Letwin. He was in Charles Manning’s last class and Dame Rosalyn Higgins’ first class. JC’s supervisor was Fred Northedge. Northedge suggested he return to do a Phd spanning international relations and law. [7:10] Describes meeting his wife, Rita, in the Library, then housed in Old Building. [8:31] After JG left LSE he went to Columbia University, New York, practised law in Wall Street and City of London. He was a guest lecturer at LSE and on retirement he became a visiting professor in Law Department [9:36] JG enjoyed, noted the continuing high quality of students. However there were differences from his time as a student. Describes studying at LSE at a time when students were calling for change and revolution. The later the student body were more focussed on careers though keen to make a difference in the world. [10:46] JG served as Chair of LSE Global Alumni network and was invited to meetings of Court of Governors to report on alumni activities; later invited to become governor and immediately accepted. [12:46] On the future of the School JG agrees with Karl Popper that where people are involved predictions are difficult. [14:13]

Track 2 [7:04] JG discusses Popper’s criticism of trying to predict trends. [00:00] LSE needs to remain flexible for the future but LSE starts from a good place that most universities would envy. Strong legacy of alumni with 45 current or former heads of state, - mentions fictional alumni in the West Wing and Yes, Prime Minister. [00:41] LSE will extend the campus and the faculty. [2:23] JG lived in a tenement cost £6 per week. JG remembers a friend warning him about the food and the weather. Describes living off custard at 1d a bowl. [2:48] Describes depositing his savings, $700 in the Bank. [5:31]

Track 3 [1:37] First year [1971] was infamous for strikes and decimalisation. [00:00] JG remembers some prices: a pint of bitter in The Three Tuns was 16d Rent was £6 per week. A local café’s most expensive dish, roast chicken, was 4s 6s, fish and chips was 1s 9d. With tuition fees today’s students have different financial concerns. [00:46]

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