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Histories of Labour: National and Transnational Perspectives [Hardcover]

Joan Allen , Alan Campbell , John McIlroy
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

28 April 2010
'Histories of Labour' presents a survey of the global trajectory of labour history.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The Merlin Press Ltd (28 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0850366860
  • ISBN-13: 978-0850366860
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16 x 4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

Product Description


"The essays collected in this volume vividly reveal the social and political inspirations that gave rise to a creative upsurge of interest in the history of working people half a century ago . . . . The reshaping of the global economy that has marked the most recent decades has also led to new ways of conceptualizing the working class itself." --David Mongomery, emeritus professor of history, Yale University

About the Author

Joan Allen is an senior lecturer in history and chair of the history department at the University of Newcastle. Alan Campbell is a retired university lecturer, a honorary senior fellow, and a former reader in labor and social history at the University of Liverpool. Eric Hobsbawm is a historian and the author of "Companion of Honour." John McIlroy is a professor of employment relations at Middlesex University.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Histories of Labour 5 Sep 2010
In the foreword to Histories of Labour Eric Hobsbawm, a founding members of the Society for the Study of Labour History and one of Britain's most eminent historians, describes how British labour history was, for a time, the most globally influential in its field. According to Hobsbawm, Labour history was a product of the intellectual ferment of the 1950s when older forms of Marxism were questioned. As such labour history was essentially an attempt to use historical reflection as a means of finding `a way forward in left politics'. Labour history chimed with the times, it was hip during the heady days of the 1960s when the working class novels, drama and music were similarly lauded. During the 1960s and 1970s history from the perspective of the people not the ruling classes was fashionable both inside and outside the academy. So much so that British Labour history produced innovative contributions to social and labour history that were globally significant. Many of the most influential historians of the period (Asa Briggs, John Saville, Eric Hobsbawm, E. P. Thompson, Royden Harrison etc) and the most interesting historical debates were in the arena of labour and social history. To take the most famous example, E. P. Thompson's The making of the English working class (1963) raised the poor handloom weaver from the condescension of history and in doing so won over a generation of historians to the perspective of `history from below'. In all this, as John McIlroy's chapter demonstrates, the Society for the Study of Labour History played an important role.

Histories of Labour, which was commissioned to celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the Society, considers the impact of labour history since the 1960s to the present day.
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