Robert Oakeshott was of a man of humorous eccentricity and intoxicating discourse, a man of many lives. As an Oxford undergraduate in 1956 he hitch-hiked into Budapest at the height of the student-led revolution, carrying nothing but moral support and a suitcase of penicillin. Then foreign correspondent for the Financial Times, key development officer in Zambia at the time of independence, alternative educationist in Botswana. He founded a think tank in the UK to promote justice and fairness in the workplace through employee ownership, an economic model that he took to Eastern Europe in the 1990s. Simultaneously, he was a generous philanthropist who played a leading role in the founding of pioneering charities.
Historian and biographer KEVIN SHILLINGTON is a graduate of Trinity College Dublin who holds a PhD from SOAS, University of London. His recent books include History of Africa (4th edition 2019), Patrick van Rensburg: Rebel, Visionary and Alternative Educationist (2020). Also available from Brown Dog Books are Charles Warren: Royal Engineer in the Age of Empire (2020), and Cecil Rhodes: the Man Behind the Statues (2021).