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Customs in Common [Paperback]

E. P. Thompson
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
RRP: 22.50
Price: 15.30 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

1 Sep 2009
A companion volume to The Making of The English Working Class, extending the studies there to include the examination of plebeian culture, working class consciousness, and industrial life. E. P. Thompson's main thesis is that in 18th century England there was a tacit agreement of social behaviour and stability between the gentry and the poor. Both were allowed to take certain measures to achieve their aims--the gentry did it via the parliament, and the poor via civil disobedience. Most interestingly, however, was the symbolic struggle, or cultural struggle--what E. P. Thompson calls the theatre and counter-theatre. The theatre meant the social attitudes--the gentry had its wigs, its fancy outfits, and its arrogant attitude, and the poor had its popular culture. This was a way to channel power and discontent through cultural manifestations.

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Customs in Common + The Making of the English Working Class (Penguin Modern Classics) + The World Turned Upside Down: Radical Ideas During the English Revolution (Penguin History)
Price For All Three: 37.99

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Product details

  • Paperback: 547 pages
  • Publisher: The Merlin Press Ltd (1 Sep 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850366976
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850366976
  • Product Dimensions: 13.9 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Review

"meticulously researched, elegantly argued and deeply humane." New York Times Book Review "This book signals the return to historical writing of one of the most eloquent, powerful and independent voices of our time. At his best he is capable of a passionate, sardonic eloquence which is quite unequalled." The Observer.

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Customer Reviews

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4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This is a fabulous book, firmly focused upon real people living real lives during a period of profound change. E P Thompson knows not only that the price of bread is an important issue, but also how to make the reader enter into the economic and moral debates of the past. I especially enjoyed the chapters on The Moral Economy and Wife Sales. Read this book and then choose your own favourites. This is how history should be.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book 20 Nov 2012
Format:Paperback
Whilst quite a thick book to read in one go this book is a valuable reference tool for any undergrad studying history of industrial development period. EP Thompson delivers as usual
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6 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Customs in Common', lets have a book in common 27 April 1999
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
'Customs in Common' looks at the food riots of 18th Century Britain and the Patrician and Plebian culture (aristocracy and working class)Giving useful facts and statistics this is well written and easily understandable. Although it does become a little annoying that most of the pages are half taken up with footnotes. Clear, concise, and as a University History student a must!
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  1 review
10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great social analysis of XVIIIth century England! 9 Dec 2006
By Alejandro Cheirif - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
E. P. Thompson was one of the founders of social history. He was part of a group of marxist British historians, among them were Raymond Williams and Eric Hobsbawm. Costums in Common offers a great social analysis of XVIIIth century England. His main thesis is that XVIIIth century England saw sort of a tacit agreement of social behavior and stability between the gentry and the poor. They were both allowed to take certain measures to achieve their aims--the gentry did it via the parliament, and the poor via civil desobedience. Most interestingly, however, was the symbolic struggle, or cultural struggle--what E. P. Thompson calls the theatre and counter-theatre. The theatre meant the social attitudes--the gentry had its wigs, its fancy outfits, and its arrogant attitude, and the poor had its popular culture. This was a way to channel power and discontent through cultural manifestations. All in all, E. P. thompson demonstates how all these tacit agreements and symbolic struggles allowed England to go through the XVIIIth century without going through a revolution (unlike the rest of Europe did or would later), although let's not forget that this was the rural poor and the haute bourgoisie and aristocracy, but the real bourgois were barely emerging. For that we'll have to turn to his other (and lenghtier too) book: The Making of the English Working-Class.
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