The People Speak: Voices That Changed Britain

The People Speak: Voices That Changed Britain

by Colin Firth, David Horspool


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The People Speak: Voices That Changed Britain by Colin Firth, David Horspool

A powerful, inspiring, and refreshing take on British history—a true people's history
The idea was simple. Take the most impassioned speeches about the fight for what is right and bring them to life for a new generation. The reason why it's so powerful is because it's about everything that matters to us: love and life, sex and death, justice and freedom. We've found some amazing speeches from the most unlikely places, British voices that have been ignored for centuries because history is a tale often told by the winners.  —Colin Firth
Inspired by the U.S. version produced by Anthony Arnove, Josh Brolin, Matt Damon, Chris Moore, and Howard Zinn, the story of Britain is told now through the voices of the visionaries, dissenters, rebels, and everyday folk who took on the establishment and stood up for what they believed in. Here are their stories, letters, speeches, and songs, from the Peasants' Revolt to the suffragettes to today's antiwar demonstrators. Bringing together some of the most powerful words in British history, this collection reminds readers that democracy has never been a spectator sport.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857864468
Publisher: Canongate UK
Publication date: 04/01/2013
Pages: 532
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)

About the Author

Colin Firth (CBE) is a Bafta- and Academy Award-winning actor. His films include Bridget Jones's Diary, The English Patient, The King's Speech, and A Single Man. Anthony Arnove is the author of Iraq: The Logic of Withdrawal, the editor of The Essential Chomsky and Iraq Under Siege, the coauthor with Howard Zinn of Terrorism and War and Voices of a People's History of the United States, and the codirector of The People Speak with Chris Moore and Howard Zinn. David Horspool is an editor of the Times Literary Supplement and the author of King Alfred. He writes regularly for the Guardian, the New York Times, the Sunday Times, and the Telegraph.

Table of Contents

An Eminently Skippable Introduction ix

Note on the Text 3

By Way of a Preface 5

1066-1450: Commoners and Kings 7

Disunited Kingdoms: 'Our English Enemies' 19

Freedom of Worship: 'Touching Our Faith' 57

1642-1789: Representing the People 89

Land and Liberty: 'The Earth Is a Common Treasury' 115

Empire and Race: 'All Slaves Want To Be Free' 145

1790-1860: One Man, One Vote 217

Money and Class: 'The Rank Is But the Guinea's Stamp' 251

Workers United: 'Labour's "No" Into Action' 311

1890-1945: Equal Rights 349

War and Peace: 'What People Have Your Battles Slain?' 365

Gender and Sexual Equality: 'A Human Being, Regardless of the Distinction of Sex' 411

1945-2012: Battling the State 455

Notes 487

Acknowledgements 501

Permissions Acknowledgements 503

Permissions Credits 505

Chronological Index 509

Index 517

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