The Making of the English Working Class (Modern Classics)

Fifty years since first publication, E.P Thompson s revolutionary account of working class culture and ideals is published in Penguin Modern Classics, with a new introduction by historian Michael KennyThis classic and imaginative account of working class society in its formative years, 1780 to 1832, revolutionized our understanding of English social history E.P ThompsonFifty years since first publication, E.P Thompson s revolutionary account of working class culture and ideals is published in Penguin Modern Classics, with a new introduction by historian Michael KennyThis classic and imaginative account of working class society in its formative years, 1780 to 1832, revolutionized our understanding of English social history E.P Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making and re creates the whole life experience of people who suffered loss of status and freedom, who underwent degradation, and who yet created a cultured and political consciousness of great vitality.
The Making of the English Working Class Modern Classics Fifty years since first publication E P Thompson s revolutionary account of working class culture and ideals is published in Penguin Modern Classics with a new introduction by historian Michael Kenn

  • Title: The Making of the English Working Class (Modern Classics)
  • Author: E.P. Thompson Michael Kenny
  • ISBN: 9780141976952
  • Page: 463
  • Format: Paperback
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    1 thought on “The Making of the English Working Class (Modern Classics)”

    1. I read this whilst at University in 1979; all 900 pages of it. I thought then, and I still think that it is one of the best academic history books ever written. It has its faults and controversies, but it changed the way history was studied following its publication in 1963. Thompson put at the centre the study of class and looked at those outside of the powerful elites of church and state and most closely at the lives of ordinary people; the Luddites, the weavers, early Methodists, followers of [...]

    2. Somehow I suspect that more ink has been spilled on the insignificant Battle of Waterloo - insignificant because if not defeated ten miles south of Brussels on the 18th of July Napoleon would have been beaten somewhere else at a later date - than on Primitive Methodism yet to my thinking it is Primitive Methodism and other similar religious movements has had more of an impact on the outlooks, worldviews and cultures of millions of English lives (all the more so considering the knock on impacts o [...]

    3. A book I finished a couple of weeks ago and which I still cannot stop thinking about. It was hard to write a knee-jerk review because there was so much in there to process and absorb.Long and in-depth but never dense, this is EP Thompson's masterpiece. It outlines the formation of a distinct working class in England, over the course of roughly 1780-1820, using the London Corresponding Society as a jumping off point.I took my time with this book, treating it more like a study, really, making note [...]

    4. Well, it took me darn near a month to finish this monster (800+ pages) of a book. Can't say I regret the experience, though. Truly , this is a masterpiece, both in terms of its substance and its approach. I could quite easily write more then a thousand words on this book, but hey, this is , right?Before I begin, I would like to state up front that I am not a historian or a graduate student of history. Please forgive me if my review contains incorrect statements."The Making of the English Working [...]

    5. Been thinking about this book again. I'm thinking we - that is, American society - could use an encyclopedic work called The Makings of a Permanent American Underclass. It would sort of be like Thompson's classic in reverse; rather than the story of how various bonds of solidarity formed against a background of intense material deprivation, it would start with a situation of general affluence and show how class war then recommenced from above, eroding all social bonds to the point where we pract [...]

    6. This book has been my Everest. It was first shown to me by my lovely husband who has very different reading habits and a very different class background to me. To me nanny is ya ma's ma. To him his nanny was someone employed by his mum and dad to watch him when they were at get the drift. He reads a LOT of non-fiction and loves this kinds of deep, trying tome whereas I am a lover of fiction, but he pointed it out as a really important text for understanding the deep class issues ingrain [...]

    7. OK, it's been on my currently-reading shelf for a long time. When I seemed to stall out at around p. 632, I know many of you were worried I would never finish it. But never fear, I braved the final 200 pages and made it all the way to the end.A book so long contains many different things. Some passages were indeed difficult to get through. But many were absolutely fascinating.The final chapter, about the Reform Bill of 1832, seemed particularly poignant in the light of the current debacle of hea [...]

    8. A truly excellent work of history. I'd had this on my mental "to read" list for a very long time. I'm glad I finally read it. Thompson pulls together a massive amount of research to show how the working class became a group that saw itself as a group. But he shows in great detail the ups and downs of different movements as well as those prominent in them.

    9. I've been meaning to read this book since having it recommended to me by older high school students during the sixties. Its size and the fear that it would be highly technical put me off. Ironically, I misjudged, just as I had with Das Kapital. Neither Thompson nor Marx were as difficult as I'd expected. Thompson's book is, as it says, about the English--not the Scottish, not the Welsh, not the Irish, except insofar as they worked in England--lower orders from approximately 1789 (the inspiration [...]

    10. I decided to actually read this monster because Ian Bone recommended it so highly in Bash The Rich. 937 pages later (not the edition pictured), I feel like I climbed a mountain. Thompson steers a course between older, "sentimental" historians who paint the English workers and artisans of the early 1800s as lovable sweethearts who never planned insurrections or sabotage and "ideological" historians who view the horrors of the industrial revolution and the development of modern capitalism as inevi [...]

    11. One of the great classics of radical history, and certainly a classic of social history of any persuasion. Thompson was a dissident Marxist, but his radicalism derived in many ways from that very English tradition of the Dissenting churches and the pre-Marxist labour movement. "Making of the English Working Class" looks at how disparate groups of lower-class Englishmen---- not just workers in the new steam-driven industries, but artisans and small farmers and skilled craftsmen and small shopkeep [...]

    12. Excerpt from my essay:Evidence is perhaps the greatest problem in historical methodology. Whether a historical event is recent or remote, the historian is forced to proclaim a definitive analysis from incomplete information. While some factual conclusions can be made with relative certainty based upon hard data, other aspects of society are less easily measured, such as happiness or spiritual health. Should a historian be given the right to generalize about intangible sentiments that cannot be q [...]

    13. A seminal book that I first read at uni and I have come back to three times since. It is a book with an agenda whose author makes no pretense at hiding his sympathies and for which I remain an admirer. It looks at the cultural basis for the evolution of the workers into a class in the factory environment of Victorian Britain. In so doing he describes the class response of the wealthy and privileged to the aspirations of the poor and their traditional reaction of repression.It is still a pleasure [...]

    14. For anyone who ever wanted to know more about the other 99% of the British population - those who actually worked for a living - this is THE BOOK. While the overall size of the book may turn people away, at several hundred pages long, it is packed with information that will keep you glued to the pages and not wanting to put it down - and, it is NON-FICTION. I absolutely loved this book, it now has a place in my bookcase because it is just that good.

    15. A brilliant combination of good writing, an innovative approach to studying the past, and insightful conclusions about British society during the Industrial Revolution.For a Marxist, Thompson has a profoundly non-determinist understanding of social class. He believes class emerges from specific human interactions, not preordained social factors. Thompson doesn’t think class is a static historical entity, but he doesn’t write class off as merely an idea, either. There is something there, in h [...]

    16. In The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson sets out to “rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the “obsolete” hand-loom weaver, the “utopian” artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southcott, from the enormous condescension of posterity.” The book serves as a response and a reinterpretation of history against the claims of scholars like T. S. Ashton who sought to demonstrate empirically the improvement of the English working class under the Industr [...]

    17. This review will inevitably be slight and unworthy of its subject, as I am hungry and want to go home and eat supper. Moreover, there is so much to this book that I hardly know where to start. Perhaps this is its greatest strength - it shows a diversity of experiences and details many geographically specific events, building up a fascinating picture of England from 1794 to 1832. I was delighted to discover how much revolutionary sentiment and upheaval took place during the period, as my fascinat [...]

    18. This is a masterpiece of social, political history. It would be too difficult to summarize in the length that it deserves. As far as readability and attention keeping, there were only two sections that were a bit too detailed and too well researched that dragged this book out. The rest of this book was drenched in research, both secondary and primary sources. The first section of the book was notable for it was the history of just post French Revolution Britain when a small segment of the workin [...]

    19. Making of the English Working Class, de E. P. Thompson, el libro que revolucionó la historia social y del trabajo. Thompson específicamente se propone liberar el concepto de “clase” de las categorías osificadas del marxismo estructuralista. Para este proyecto la experiencia era un concepto clave. Su noción de experiencia unía ideas de influencia externa y sentimientos subjetivos, lo estructural y lo psicológico. Esto daba a Thompson una influencia mediadora entre la estructura social y [...]

    20. Nutshell: "The making of the working class is a fact of political and cultural, as much as of economic, history. It was not the spontaneous generation of the factory-system. Nor should we think of an external force -- the 'industrial revolution' -- working upon some nondescript undifferentiated raw material of humanity, and turning it out at the other end as a 'fresh race of beings'. The changing productive relations and working conditions of the Industrial Revolution were imposed, not upon raw [...]

    21. Whatever flaws this book may have - the absence of women is a major one, yes - it remains incredibly exciting. The narrative is textured and compelling, and Thompson opens it up to so many voices that it really does convey a sense of the presence of the English working class at the site of its own production.Every national history (and we can debate the dangers of a national history as an aside) deserves this additional treatment. Hagen Koo offers an attempt in the Korean case, and Ching Kwan Le [...]

    22. The seminal book of the Century. Read this book at University and though it's not 'easy reading' as such, I found the subject matter very interesting and thought provoking. According to this ' an influential and pivotal work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson, a notable 'New Left' historian; it was published in 1963 (revised 1968) by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book. It concentrates on English artisan and working [...]

    23. One of the truly great pieces of British history in which Thompson, in his own words, set out ""to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the 'obsolete' handloom weaver, the 'utopian' artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southgate, from the enormous condescension of posterity' and does so brilliantly. An enormous powerful book that helped reshape British social history, refocused English labour history, and shifted Marxist British history in fundamental ways. And on top of [...]

    24. Awe-inspiring historical writing, in research and reframing of the state of working-class organization, rebellion, and self-awareness in the midst of the English Industrial Revolution. Long, and ultimately worth it: I was particularly engrossed in the discussion of Luddism, of Owenism, and of the ebb and flow of organizations, clubs, and societies throughout these years in creating political counterbalance to the state's alliance with laissez faire ideology.

    25. Magisterial is a good word for it, I think. Can't call it a must-read, but definitely thought-provoking for anyone thinking about how social movements form.

    26. ​​Roughly covers the years between the French Revolution and the first Reform Bill, by which time the British working class consciousness had been formed. Well, it is a rather depressing read with page after page of trials, beatings, extremely harsh living and working conditions, child abuse and every so often the scaffold makes its appearance. Overall though, there didn't seem to be too many executions, it was more a daily grind for agricultural and city workers that really oppressed them. [...]

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