Making of the English Working Class

Making of the English Working Class

by E.P. Thompson, E. P. Thompson


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A seminal text on the history of the working class by one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. 

During the formative years of the Industrial Revolution, English workers and artisans claimed a place in society that would shape the following centuries. But the capitalist elite did not form the working class—the workers shaped their own creations, developing a shared identity in the process. Despite their lack of power and the indignity forced upon them by the upper classes, the working class emerged as England’s greatest cultural and political force. Crucial to contemporary trends in all aspects of society, at the turn of the nineteenth century, these workers united into the class that we recognize all across the Western world today. E.P. Thompson’s magnum opus, The Making of the English Working Class defined early twentieth-century English social and economic history, leading many to consider him Britain’s greatest postwar historian. Its publication in 1963 was highly controversial in academia, but the work has become one of the most influential social commentaries every written.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780394703220
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date: 02/28/1966
Pages: 848
Sales rank: 306,217
Product dimensions: 5.14(w) x 7.98(h) x 1.44(d)

About the Author

E.P. Thompson (1924–1993) was a British historian, writer, socialist, and peace campaigner. He is most famous for his work on the British radical movements of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century, as well as influential biographies of William Morris and William Blake. An ardent left-wing socialist critic of the Labour governments of 1964–70 and 1974–79 and a historian in the Marxist tradition, Thompson was an active figure in ending the Cold War.

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The Making of the English Working Class 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
j_wendel_cox on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most important work of history in the English language in the twentieth century.
DLPatterson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I remain haunted by the handloom weavers. Explains why Methodism, the religion in which I was raised, is a religion of the oppressors. (Aren't the all?) Down with John Wesley!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is book is a true classic. It combines a deep and thoughtful study of the period in question. Its also witty and humourous, and at times deeply moving. Particular stand out chapters include the story of the Luddities ('an army of redressers') and his analysis of the financial and material circumstance of those dispossed by the industrial revolution. History can be many things. Thompson prooves that it can be passionate and moving, as well as deeply thought provoking.