Skip to main content

Interview with Dominic Abrams, 1984

Reference Code: GBR/0014/ABMS 7/1/2

Scope and Contents

Recorded interview between Mark Abrams and his grandson Dominic Abrams at 48 St. Martin's Lane, London, 19 September 1984.

Scope and Contents

Tape 1: Mark Abrams' parents, Abraham Abramowitz and Annie Issacorwitz, and their migration to the East End of London from Grodno in the Russian Empire [now Belarus] and Pusushya in the Russian Empire [now Lithuania] respectively; his father's anarchist political philosophy and political activism; Jewish cultures in the Russian Empire and in London; the family's move to a house in Edmonton in North London; his father's work as a pedlar in Hertfordshire, a market stall holder in Edmonton and Hertford, and a shop keeper in Edmonton Green; the First World War, including the family's experience of xenophobia; his education at Montagu Road Elementary School and Latymer School in Edmonton, where he became friends with Queenie Roth (later Leavis); his siblings, including his oldest sister Nancy's migration to the United States; and his undergraduate and postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics. Duration: 1 hour, 05:30 minutes.

Tape 2, side 1: Mark Abrams impersonating Hugh Dalton's annual lecture for new students at the London School of Economics; and travelling with a friend to Salzburg and Amsterdam. Duration: 09:31 minutes.

Tape 2, side 2: Mark Abrams' postgraduate studies at the London School of Economics, 1927-9; his first job as a Lecturer in Agricultural Econmics at an Agricultural College in Evesham, 1929; and research projects on the marketing of fruit and vegetables and on the social mobility of the children of agricultural labourers. Duration: 07:12 minutes.

Tape 3: Mark Abrams' marriage to Una Strugnell; their departure for the United States for him to take up a post at the Brookings Institution in Washington DC; their return to London and publication of his first book; his recruitment to the market research department of the London Press Exchange, 1933; various surveys, including of readers of British national newspapers, cinemagoers, advertising, and for the Gas Light and Coke Company on housing conditions in areas supplied by the company in London; working with Gertruda Wagner on a survey and regular seminar on milk consumption; early childhood of Mark and Una's son Philip; working with Ernst Kris and Alison Outhwaite on the analysis of overseas propaganda at the BBC during the Second World War; transfer to the Foreign Office's Political Intelligence Department; a survey of the impact of bombing on civilian morale in various cities in Britain; advising the United States Office of War Information; publication of several more books, 1945-6; Philip Abrams' education; return to the London Press Exchange and the formation of its subsidiary Research Services Limited; a period as a Visiting Professor at the University of Chicago in the United States and publication of his book on social surveys and social action, 1951; various surveys, including for Esso on the productivity of British workers at the Fawley Refinery and for the National Economic Development Council on British consumers' preference for foreign manufactured goods; his daughter, Evelyn Abrams; and Philip Abrams' undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Cambridge. Duration: 1 hour, 35:50 minutes.

Tape 4: Philip Abrams' marriage to Sonia Edelman; various surveys by Mark Abrams at Research Services Limited, including for the Manchester Guardian; surveys of public opinion for the Labour Party, including on comprehensive schools and on altruism; Philip Abrams' growing interest in sociology and his move to the University of Chicago; Mark Abrams work with Michael Young on futurology and as director of the Survey Research Unit at the Social Science Research Council; research on old age funded by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation and then as director of the research unit at Age Concern; and Philip Abrams' research work, particularly on neighbouring, during his time as Professor of Sociology at Durham University. Duration: 1 hour, 14:17 minutes.


  • Creation: 1984

Conditions Governing Access

Available online.


5 digital file(s)

Language of Materials


Related Materials

See illustrated transcript in ABMS 7/1/2A.

Repository Details

Part of the Churchill Archives Centre Repository

Churchill Archives Centre
Churchill College
Cambridge Cambridgeshire CB3 0DS United Kingdom
+44 (0)1223 336087