Apr 20, 2021
The Making of the English Working Class
Posted by E.P. Thompson

This account of artisan working class society in its formative years, 1780 1832, adds an important dimension to our understanding of the 19th century E.P Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making recreates the whole life experience of people who suffered loss of status freedom, who underwent degradation who yet created a culThis account of artisan working class society in its formative years, 1780 1832, adds an important dimension to our understanding of the 19th century E.P Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making recreates the whole life experience of people who suffered loss of status freedom, who underwent degradation who yet created a culture political consciousness of great vitality Thompson s book has been called controversial, but perhaps only because so many have forgotten how explosive England was during the Regency the early reign of Victoria Without any reservation, The Making of the English Working Class is the most important study of those days since the classic work of the Hammonds Commentary Mr Thompson s deeply human imagination controlled passion help us to recapture the agonies, heroisms illusions of the working class as it made itself No one interested in the history of the English people should fail to read his book Times Literary Supplement

  • Title: The Making of the English Working Class
  • Author: E.P. Thompson
  • ISBN: 9780394703220
  • Page: 194
  • Format: Paperback
  • The Making of the English Working Class This account of artisan working class society in its formative years adds an important dimension to our understanding of the th century E P Thompson shows how the working class took part


    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 the [...]


    Somehow I suspect that 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 of an impact on the outlooks, worldviews and cultures of millions of English lives all the so considering the knock on impacts on voting patterns [...]


    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 like a study, really, making notes and [...]


    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 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 Class is pr [...]

    David M

    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 practically [...]


    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 work.you 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 ingrained i [...]


    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 health c [...]

    Lauren Albert

    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.

    Erik Graff

    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 of the [...]


    it took me SIX MONTHS to read this, but I regret nothing


    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 inevitable a [...]


    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 shopkeepers as w [...]


    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 quan [...]

    Richard Thomas

    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 to [...]


    For anyone who ever wanted to know 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.

    Dan Gorman

    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 his tell [...]

    Mardin Aminpour

    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 Industrial Revolution in the e [...]


    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 fascination w [...]

    Timothy Riley

    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 working po [...]


    Making of the English Working Class, de E P Thompson, el libro que revolucion la historia social y del trabajo Thompson espec ficamente se propone liberar el concepto de clase de las categor as osificadas del marxismo estructuralista Para este proyecto la experiencia era un concepto clave Su noci n de experiencia un a ideas de influencia externa y sentimientos subjetivos, lo estructural y lo psicol gico Esto daba a Thompson una influencia mediadora entre la estructura social y la conciencia soci [...]


    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 material, but u [...]

    Chelsea Szendi

    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 Lee gives [...]


    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 class society [...]


    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 that, qui [...]


    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.

    Emily Ross

    Very interesting but incredibly difficult to read, and not just because its over 900 pages long.


    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.


    essential book for working class studies.

    kai feng


    Bernard M.

    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 a daily grind for agricultural and city workers that really oppressed them It s nice to [...]

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