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4.1 out of 5 stars
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4.1 out of 5 stars
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on 26 August 2008
We think that recent decades have seen the greatest possible changes that mankind could possibly go through. We're wrong.

William Cobbett lived through an era that was breathtaking in the change that it experienced. The agrarian economy that had sustained the country for centuries was being pushed aside by the industrial revolution, indeed, agriculture was about to experience deep decline. In politics, the loss of the American colonies - the first step in the end of the Empire - still haunted the country. The age of patrician rule was about to yield - if no more than that - with the Reform Act of 1832.

Cobbett exemplifies the contradictions of this age - passionately opposed to 'modern' economics, yet deriding of the 'old ways', patrician yet a powerful advocate of the enhanced franchise.

Cobbett gives us a record of an important turning point in our country's history and sheds light upon the causes and impacts of this period of change. He offers us lessons that may be of equal relevance in our own period of immense change.

Apart from that, Cobbett paints us a picture of a landscape that is, on the one hand, so very familiar to us, but on the other, totally alien.

However, the editorial contribution of this version of his work is poor. That anyone in the early 21st century should understand the intricacies of early 19th century politics is asking too much, and the vital explanation and understanding that the average paperback reader needs is entirely missing.
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on 21 August 2017
This is the longest rant I have ever read, but it gives good insight into what was going on at the time.
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on 17 March 2017
very interesting insight into the the life of an interesting time in history
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on 20 May 2017
Excellent
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on 13 June 2010
For readers interested in the minutiae of rural life and the working and living conditions of the rural agricultural labourers around the time of the Industrial Revolution this book is a must. It influenced many later socialist thinkers including Karl Marx. Written by William Cobbett, himself born to working on the land as a humble bird scarer then a ploughboy, he later rose to prominence as an MP. The book provides a detailed and balanced account of the working poor in 19th Century England. The book is readable and the English refreshingly clear for works of this period, but I would not describe it as a page turner. I may be biassed however, since I am a descendent of William Cobbett!
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on 9 January 2014
I cannot comment on the content of the book as it was a present for a friend. The friend was delighted with it. I had been unable to purchase it locally.
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on 22 September 2013
Now in my 70s, I have intended to read this from my school days. I am really enjoying the view of the 19th Century
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on 27 November 2014
An informative book of a family that I have contact with, their past family history. Thanks
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on 8 April 2009
As a student of this period of history an invaluable book. Also a good read.
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on 5 January 2017
Book was a little less than pristine, but to be fair it wasn't described any differently. Overall good value, then. The text makes up for any deficiencies in the cover and paper quality.
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