The Condition of the Working Class in England

The Condition of the Working Class in England

4.0 1
by Friedrich Engels
     
 

ISBN-10: 0192836889

ISBN-13: 9780192836885

Pub. Date: 09/28/1999

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

The Condition of the Working Class is the best-known work of Engels, and in many ways still the best study of the working class in Victorian England. It was also Engels's first book, written during his stay in Manchester from 1842 to 1844. Manchester was then at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution and Engels compiled his study from his own observations and…  See more details below

Overview

The Condition of the Working Class is the best-known work of Engels, and in many ways still the best study of the working class in Victorian England. It was also Engels's first book, written during his stay in Manchester from 1842 to 1844. Manchester was then at the very heart of the Industrial Revolution and Engels compiled his study from his own observations and detailed contemporary reports. The fluency of his writing, the personal nature of his insights, and his talent for mordant satire combine to make this account of the life of the victims of early industrial change into a classic - a historical study that parallels and complements the fictional works of the time by such writers as Gaskell and Dickens. What Cobbett had done for agricultural poverty in his Rural Rides, Engels did - and more - in this work on the plight of the industrial workers in the England of the early 1840s. This edition includes the prefaces to the English and American editions, and a map of Manchester c.1845.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780192836885
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
09/28/1999
Series:
Oxford World's Classics Series
Pages:
368
Product dimensions:
7.60(w) x 5.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Table of Contents

Introduction7
Preface to the First German Edition18
Preface to the English Edition21
Introduction37
The Industrial Proletariat54
The Great Towns57
Competition108
Irish Immigration122
Results126
Single Branches of Industry. Factory-Hands163
The Remaining Branches of Industry216
Labour Movements239
The Mining Proletariat267
The Agricultural Proletariat286
The Attitude of the Bourgeoisie towards the Proletariat301
To the Working-Classes of Great Britain323
Index326

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The Condition of the Working Class in England 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
For most, Charles Dickens is the only source we've encountered regarding the awful human misery of the early industrial revolution. However, Friedrich Engels and Karl Marx reported on it, too. Indeed, most of their criticisms were far more applicable to the raw capitalism of contemporary England than their native Germany. Engels stayed in Manchester, the premier industrial city of the time, during the early 1840's to research his book. And he produced a devastating indictment of the truly miserable and life-threatening living conditions he found. Unlike Marx, Engels had a pronounced flair for writing he makes it a fascinating, eye-opening journey back through time. The topics he includes cover: struggling labor movements, the denigrating effects of immigration on domestic workers (due to competing subsistence-cost labor), the ignorance and crippling of child workers, the sexual exploitation of women workers, the displacement of male heads of household by lower-cost and more pliant women/children, the unbelievable filth and subhuman housing conditions workers endured, the dangerous and unhealthy working conditions of miners/factory workers, rampant substance abuse, doping of children by babysitters, the total lack of legal redress for the poor, the displacement of labor by machinery, and the role of unbridled competition in perpetrating economic distress. While we all know communism has failed, its rise was due to these very real and serious problems, some of which remain with many Western workers today. And most of these conditions do very much persist in emerging economies right now. So, even though the book is well over 150 years old it is still highly valid! The main fault of course with Marx/Engels' communist philosophy is that ALL humans are greedy and lazy - it's just that the clever ones (whether they originate from 'bourgeous' or 'working' classes) will always exploit the others. And it doesn't matter whether the system is capitalist or communist - those at the top will always exploit those below for personal advantage. Probably the best response has been the progressive social reform in Western nations over the last 100 years. (Revolutions and dictatorships usually only lead to mass murder.)