The Making of the English Working Class (Penguin Modern Classics) Paperback – 3 Oct 2013
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Thompson's work combines passion and intellect, the gifts of the poet, the narrator and the analyst (Eric Hobsbawm Independent)
A dazzling vindication of the lives and aspirations of the then - and now once again - neglected culture of working-class England (Martin Kettle Observer)
Superbly readable . . . a moving account of the culture of the self-taught in an age of social and intellectual deprivation (Asa Briggs Financial Times)
An event not merely in the writing of English history but in the politics of our century (Michael Foot Times Literary Supplement)
The greatest of our socialist historians (Terry Eagleton New Statesman)
From the Inside Flap
"Thompson's book has been called controversial, but perhaps only because so many have forgotten how explosive England was during the Regency and the early reign of Victoria. Without any reservation, The Making of the English Working Class is the most important study of those days since the classic work of the Hammonds."--"Commentary
"Mr. Thompson's deeply human imagination and controlled passion help us to recapture the agonies, heroisms and illusions of the working class as it made itself. No one interested in the history of the English people should fail to read his book."--London "Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Above all Thompson for the most part works hard to get a balanced view sometimes from limited information and keeps his tongue in his cheek much of the time. He is witty and cheerful, and the book is full of quotations from original sources. A great read if you want to really understand what was going on when Britain became 'great'.
It is true that Thompson displayed support for Marxist ideas and was a member of the CPGB until 1956. However, his theories on the development of social class are far from doctrinaire. Whereas Althusser in France was developing a much more structuralist approach to class, Thompson believed that working-class agency lay at the heart of the development of working-class culture and politics. The prefaces outline this approach very clearly and are, for me at least, some of the most important parts of this book. He also looks at traditional forms of radicalism and saw in England the continuation of these as the working class developed and bonded together to face the new world of industrialisation. This is reflected in other works by Thompson where what was seen as corruption in government was often the source of discontent rather than the lack of democracy. However, both added up to the same thing for radicals: the need for a political system much more open to widespread participation. Traditional forms of discontent, such as rioting, were also maintained and helped to demonstrate that the working class were not just victims of structural changes to England's economy and society.
In 'The making of the English working class', Thompson also pays homage to the role of religion in working-class life demonstrating that Thompson is aware of how rich and vibrant the working-class experience was.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fabulous item as described. Prompt dispatch, safe and sound. Top marks.Published 3 months ago by P. F. Tracgransglaws
This review is of the 1991 Penguin edition of a work originally published in 1963. The edition includes Thompson’s preface to the 1980 edition and the postscript he inserted in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Nicholas Casley
one of those must buy/must read books; very happy to have my copy...Published 17 months ago by Mark Pummell
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