The Making of the English Working Class

The Making of the English Working ClassThompsonY Zy L N En Nemli Tarih Ilerinden Birisidir Ku Kusuz Sadece M Dunlar N, A A Dakilerin Tarihini Yazd I In De Il, Bu Tarihi Onlar N Yan Ndan Yazmak Cesaretini G Sterdi I I In De Nemlidir G M Cadelelerinin Ge Mi Ini Sunarken Kendisi De Bu M Cadelelerin Sahnesi Haline Gelen Tarih Alan Nda Thompson Un Katk S Daha Da B Y K Bir Etkiye Sahiptir Thompson, Ngiliz I S N F N N Olu Umu Nda S N F N Nas L Kendisini Olu Turan Bir S Re Oldu Unu Tart R S N F N, K Lt Rel Olarak De I En Evre, Insan Ili Kileri, K Lt Rel Yeniden Yap Lanmalar, Inan D Nyas I Inden Zaman Zaman Kopan, Ama Yine Tekrar Ona D Nen Bir S Re Te Kendi Kendisini Yap N Anlat R S N F Durgun Bir Kategori Olarak Alg Layan, Sadece Ajan Lar N Seyyaliyeti Ve G M Cadelesinin G D Ml Bir Par As Oldu Unu Vazeden Anlay A Kar Thompson Ark Lar, Ilahiler, Iirler, Yeminler, G Nl Kler Ve Gazeteler Vas Tas Yla Tarihi Canland R R Thompson Un Yazd Ve Insan Olman N Erdemleri Kadar Zaaflar N Da Sergiledi I I I S N F N N Kendi Kendini Olu Turmas Tarihi, Bug N T M O Canl L Yla Okunmay Hak Eden Uzun Bir Romand R Asl Nda D Nemi Ara T Ran Hi Kimsenin G Zard Edemeyece I, Hayranl K Uyand Ran Yarat C Bir Al Ma Bernard Semmel, American Historical Review Ger Ek Bir Ba Yap T Michael Foot, London Tribune

Edward Palmer Thompson was an English historian, writer, socialist and peace campaigner He is probably best known today for his historical work on the radical movements in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in particular The Making of the English Working Class 1963 He also published influential biographies of William Morris 1955 and posthumously William Blake 1993 and was a prolific

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  • Paperback
  • 992 pages
  • The Making of the English Working Class
  • E.P. Thompson
  • Turkish
  • 13 September 2017
  • 9789750517693

10 thoughts on “The Making of the English Working Class

  1. says:

    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 prophetess Joanna Southcott ever heard of her , the mob, papists, artisans, agricultural workers, the new factory workers, trade unionists and so on This is commonplace now, but it wasn t then.Thompson was a Marxist intellectual in the same tradition and generation as Christopher Hill and Eric Hobsbawm but in my opinion a better historian Thompson was a communist, who left the party in 1956 following the invasion of Hungary as did many others He was interested in the nature of class and the nature of Englishness the working class being a in struggle with the middle class bourgeoisie He was interested because he brought his ideas into the present he was a strong critic of the labour governments of the 60s and 70s and in later life concentrated on the campaign against nuclear weapons There are too few women in the book working class women were even invisible than working class men but Thompson s principal of ignoring the enormous condescension of posterity and looking at the lives of the Luddites, followers of Captain Swing , Joanna Southcott and the like and taking them seriously still holds There are parallels today s political parties have ignored white working class men in recent years just those people who are now most likely to swallow the ideas of mavericks like Nigel Farrage and vote UKIP Thompson is interested in why there was no revolution in England and whether Methodism was responsible and in the beliefs and struggles of workers in the industrial revolution One of the most interesting analyses in the book for me was the dissection of early Methodist worship which has application to all forms of emotional religious worship At the time I was struggling with my own beliefs and this came as a breath of fresh air It also caused great controversy, especially one particular line Thompson referred to emotional religious worship as a ritualised form of psychic masturbation You can imagine how that played with the fundamentalists Thompson also subjects the language of Methodist hymnody Come, O my guilty brethren come,Groaning beneath your load of sin His bleeding heart shall make you room,His open side shall take you in.to a psychological analysis and puts it in a political and social context He also develops Lecky s argument that fundamentalist religion in particular Methodist evangelicalism here is a system of religious terrorism and looks at why it was so popular It s a brilliant piece of writing, but only a small part of the book Thompson ranges across the whole plethora of ideas developed from the Civil War and the French Revolution The pages are full of strange and startling characters Joanna Southcott is particularly interesting the last Southcottian died in 2012 , but there are many others Thompson is especially strong in his description of working class organisations This is well worth reading and I found it a lead into so many other topics.

  2. says:

    This book was first published the year I was born That ought to perhaps speak against it being a book worth reading today not because the year I was born was a particularly hopeless one, but because 55 years is a significant amount of time and often, on a topic like this one, new research makes a book like this a bit obsolete This is also quite a long book, so you might think there could easily be a newer, leaner and snappier version of this somewhere And there probably is The point here is that this book will continue to be read even if such an alternative recent book proves to be better aimed at our diminished concentration spans and so on That will be due as much to the method used in this book, rather than just its literal content But we will get to that at the end of this review.I m not going to spend any time on the relationship this book has to Methodism, other than to say that while Methodism doesn t come out of this book terribly well, and I can definitely see that if I were a Methodist the thought of a dartboard with this guy s face on it would seem pretty appealing, this book is probably kinder to Methodism than Methodists might come away thinking He makes it clear that Methodism was in a difficult position since it was trying to be the religion of both the capitalist class and the working class and as the interests of those two classes diverged, that made Methodism being one thing to all sides increasingly difficult There were stands that needed to be made, and sides that needed to be taken and too often those stands were going to put one side off in equal measure to how they made the other side happy However, this is a book about the making of the working class, and in many ways that class was made by the organisational structures the members of that class were able to bring to what was the nascent trade union movement And those organisational structures seem to have been borrowed from those of the Methodist churches.One of the things I found particularly interesting here was the discussion of the Luddites I ve been taught about the Luddites since high school and the story is always pretty much the same The Luddites weren t particularly wrong for feeling screwed over by the new machines that were taking their jobs, but what their efforts proved beyond any doubt was the utter pointlessness of standing in the path of progress Like the story of King Canute and the tide, taking arms against the rise of the machines is an exercise in utter futility at best, and self defeating insanity at worse, since ultimately to win would be to lose Luddite today means a pointless protester against the inevitable forward progress of the machine.The problem here is that we have virtually no voice from those who were Luddites able to speak to us now, since they were often illiterate while also being organised in extremely illegal and therefore remarkably secretive societies History, therefore, has only left us the voices of those who despised them, those whose machines they had destroyed Rarely has the phrase history is written by the victors seemed apt.What is made plain here is that the Luddites were not merely pointlessly protesting that their jobs were being replaced by machines rather, they didn t even feel this was quite the case The work they did was highly skilled and so also very well remunerated The work the machines did lacked the quality of these workers skills, but it was being sold as if it was of the same quality and so this outpouring of a lower quality product also lowered the esteem in which their own craft would be held Often all they were asking for was for the lower quality product to be referred to as lower quality Further, the capitalists who were introducing the machines that were turning this lower quality product out were simultaneously depressing the wages of these artisans fellow workers, to levels where it was inevitable there would be a severe conflict between the workers and their employers What is made clear in this history is that those employers that continued to pay their workers a fair wage were spared having their machines destroyed, even while the machines in the workplaces around them were destroyed In short, this was about wages than it was about machines.The other point to be made here is that even workers meeting as a group of people at this time was frequently to be seen and treated as a criminal act That is, there was no means available for those who became the Luddites to further their own interests other than by illegal means There was no way to apply pressure on their employers and so the only means available to them were violent protests and the smashing of the property of the employers Rather than this being an act of rebellion against modern technology that is, how Luddites are currently remembered this was a protest against absolute power in the hands of employers over their employees and this was therefore an early form of trade union activity that is, an early form of working class solidarity and an expression of working class identity Thompson makes it clear that there isn t a single thing that is the working class but rather that all classes in society only exist in relation to one another That is, classes are not born as a series of pre decided characteristics, but rather they are born out of their relationships with the other classes in society, and it is only in those relationships that the interests of one class become clear when compared to those of another that is, in life, rather than as pre decided statements of fact For the Luddites, a highly paid group of people who were, nonetheless, required to sell their skills to the highest bidder, the actions of the capitalist class undermined their ability to provide themselves with a livelihood or to protest against changes that directly impacted them The smashing of machines was anything but a random act of seeking to hold back the tide of history, but rather an act of self defence.Now, even though I found this fascinatingly interesting, it isn t really why this book ought to continue to be read today although, like I ve said already, I ve read lots of book that mention the Luddites and very few of them put them in this sort of context The reason why this book is so interesting is that to uncover this history the book couldn t really rely solely on the official history of the period That history, as I ve already said, was written by the enemies of the Luddites He has gotten some material from court records, statements and so on of those who had been captured as Luddites and that is part of the official historical record However, many of these people had taken oaths to remain silent and the secret nature of the organisation also meant that many of them didn t know the extent of the organisation anyway This was effectively a guerrilla movement, they are called Luddites after General Ludd , someone how didn t actually exist, but was used as a rallying point for those who fought with this general And so the organisation had many layers of secrecy and clearly remarkable levels of loyalty too And as I ve said, many of those involved in the movement were illiterate, or able to read, but not to write, something we often forget are quite different skills.Because of all this, standard historical sources only allow us to go so far in understanding the motivations and even actions of these people However, beside the official material available, there is also a rich oral tradition, including a folk tradition of ballads and poetry, and this is used here to remarkable affect This broadening of the source material available to be used in constructing a history of this kind not only provides the voiceless with a voice, but it gives us that voice in remarkable richness, depth and passion We are given here a history influenced by the early expressions of cultural theory and it is one that takes seriously the voices of the people while seeks it out where it is most likely for us to be still able to hear those voices.This really is a remarkable piece of work I enjoyed it very much.

  3. says:

    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 and participation in public life It is those millions who, to varying extents, get some coverage in this book.The downside of Thompson s book was having read it I didn t have any sense of there having been an English Working Class that came to be through a given historical process except possibly indirectly by implication.The upside of this book is it is a hugely wide ranging Methodism, Primitive Methodism, Chartism reform of Parliament, Joanna Southcott her followers etc etc look at England at the beginning of the 19th century from a perspective other than that of the Government and generally other than that of the Upper classes That is reason alone to read it This is the perspective on being governed, being spied upon, having agents provocateur work among you and upon you Something that thanks to this book we can see has been a constant thread in British history since the French revolution yet rarely comes to the surface view spoiler thinking here of the spying on A.J.P Taylor presumably for his support of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament, spying on Christopher Hill and Hobsbawm in contrast seems par for the course Also undercover police activities among various groups that have come up in the courts of late hide spoiler

  4. says:

    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 precisely what its awkward title describes a history of the developments leading to the emergence of the modern industrial working class in England and Scotland, sort of Wales and Ireland are excluded, although Irish immigrants living in England to figure in some parts of the book The time period covered is roughly the 1790 s to the 1840 s Thompson starts with a description of Dissent , discusses the influence of the French Revolution on that tradition Dissent , spends a good chunk of the book describing the effect of the industrial revolution on the lives and lifestyles of the workers in industrial England, and then spends an equal amount of time describing the reaction of the workers and their leaders to this adjustment in circumstances.Along the way, Thompson takes a hatchet to historians on the left, right, and center His section on the change in circumstances of the workers in England is most critical of writers like F.A Hayek, i.e those writers who try to say that the industrial revolution wasn t that bad or wasn t bad at all for the workers He devotes a good part of Part II of the book to attacking the methods of statistical or economic history His preference is to use documentary evidence of the time In this way, the book published in the 60 s is a forerunner of historical postmodernism Oh, please forgive me for the term , where authors abandon objective evidence economic statistics in favor of subjective evidence pamphlets, letters and newspapers.I guess that s hardly a revolutinary arguement now a day, but back then, I can hardly imagine.His section on the reaction of workers to the industrial revolution is rather critical to historians of the left and center, who sought to discount the violence associated with the Luddite movement as somehow unrepresentative of the working class movement in England Thompson s revisionist history of the Luddite movement is a tour de force Really, it s breathtaking.In my opinion, the book kind of loses steam after that section Thompson has some harsh words for the London based leaders of the workers movement, and I felt his discussion of Owenism left too much to the readers imagination I don t suppose this book was meant for someone with only a loose grounding in English history, but none the less, that s what I have, so I m just stuck.To the extent that I have anything critical to say about this book, it s that Thompson at times presupposes a graduate level education in English history I haven t read AJP Taylor or Hayek or any of the other authors Thompson attacks IN the end, though, I felt like it didn t hurt my enjoyment of this book I would highly recommend it, although you should set aside a good chunk of time to make your way from beginning to end.

  5. says:

    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 lack the concept of solidarity any This is the story of neoliberalism, I think I floated this idea to an old commie friend of mind, and he got back to me with some insight he s about the same age as me As I see it, the emergent underclass has no clear analogue in all of human history There are older people living on reduced incomes but who own houses and have no student debt, yes But it is primarily the very young who constitute this giant, unruly mass The older generation at least has some memory of group solidarity unions, churches, bowling leagues but, for the young, I fear the worst It seems to me that in our condition does indeed revert back to that of the early English working class, the days when riots, rather than strikes, were the dominant mode of political contention It seems to me that we are inevitably reverting back to an era when riots MUST be the dominant mode of political contention unemployment, underemployment, deskilling, and the decimation of organized labor make it inevitable that the strike form will die out sooner rather than later.As I see it, the need for electoral strategy emerges from the inevitability of the riots to come Rather than leaders who will merely suppress the next anti cop riot, we need officials who are willing to communicate with social movements The issue, then, is two fold a lack of acceptable politicians that fit this bill Sanders, Keith Ellison would be two and a complete lack of meaningful leadership that can reasonably claim to represent and articulate the demands of riotous social movements Anarchists often speak as if it is necessary to organize riots they are coming one way or the other, and anarchists will play, at best, a trivial role in them The important thing for activists, then, is to make the state recognize riots as part of political discourse, and respond accordingly The legacy of bread riots is kept alive across most of the world a founding if often suppressed myth in France and Russia, for instance And these riots have been on going across the Global South since the onset of political modernity The US, however, a perpetual land of affluence from the beginning, has no real sense of the bread riot in its collective memory or its collective political imaginary For us, the riot can really only be the race riot.As I see it, the catastrophe of the Trump presidency is that future suppression will be swift and brutal, and it is really only a matter of time before he follows Obama s own precedent to its logical conclusion and uses drones on American citizens on US soil Even worse, it seems clear to me that something even worse is around the corner if the Tea Party was a reaction to disappointment with neocon leadership, and Trump is a reaction to anger at the Tea Party, what will come when Trump s staunchest supporters are confronted with the reality of a man who doesn t appear to be very interested in following through with some of his dire promises Of course the deportations will continue and perhaps accelerate, but Trump must surely realize the economic devastation that would occur if he actually tried to rapidly deport 3 million people It seems clear to me that, ultimately, Trump can never live up to his grandiose pledges on simply removing Latinos and on disciplining blacks What happens when his dumbfuck supporters realize as much I m mostly just trying out some ideas here, I guess I wonder how much the rabble a largely suppressed concept in political modernity, but a prominent one for the ancients and Machiavelli will become significant again It seems clear to me that a major strategic mistake of the original Black Panthers was to focus on organizing the lumpen elements of the proletariat rather than industrial workers this left them with a constant distraction of criminality and absurd internal violence What comes now, when the industrial proletariat has ceased to exist and all that remains is a young, largely urbanized, underclass

  6. says:

    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.

  7. says:

    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 French Revolution until about 1832 the Reform Bill I write lower orders as the notion of a working class arose, according to Thompson, during this period And this, the working class , is not, in his acceptation, in the retrospective sense imposed by subsequent sociologists and historians exploring the origins of such No, rather, as the title suggests, it is in the sense of what some of the lower orders made of themselves during this period Very much this book is about the self consciousness and agency of English working men and women.Although Thompson is usually identified as a Marxist and Communist, he displays none of the bad habits of either There is no hidebound rhetoric here, nor Procrustrean schemata This is real historical scholarship, well documented, as coherent as a fair appraisal of the evidence would seem to allow It is also, the minds of people being of central concern, a cultural history While generally dry and matter of fact, occasionally the author s humanity, his motive to begin this kind of work in the first place, is made explicit Insosfar as Marx and Engels for whom this period was also history, albeit recent history are mentioned, and it isn t often, it is often to criticize or qualify their testimony.A warning to American readers This is an Englishman s history of an England of two centuries ago Just as one of them might not know of the Battle of Breed s Bunker sic Hill, so it is quite likely that the general American reader might not already know much that the author takes for granted Peterloo Cato Street I kept a copy of The Columbia Desk Encyclopedia close at hand.

  8. says:

    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 in the history of our English heritage So he bought it for melike 2 years ago And here we are I finally finished it This book does exactly what it says on the tin with nobs on Do you want to know everything there is to know about the working class in England between the 18th and 19th century that shaped the way we see class today Then buy and read this book By no means is this a fun and frothy beach read, this is a series academic text and has been incredibly useful in my own literary studies to provide evidence for otherwise spurious claims If you re an academic in history, literature, sociology etc interested in the 17th, 18th and 19th century or in how class is constructed via religion, laws and revolution then this is the book for you Great for dipping in and out of as it s very well indexed and contains than enough references to other texts to keep you going forever.

  9. says:

    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 care reform That is, a story of reform being co opted by all the wrong people and, having begun with hopes for universal franchise, ending with an alliance between the aristocracy and the new middle class designed to cut out the working class Not quite sure if there are exact parallels, but somehow it feels timely.

  10. says:

    With the changes of the Enlightenment, French Revolution, and industrial revolution capitalism, as we know it was gestating Without sounding Marxist the working class as a collective identity was also being forged by these events With the mix of oppression, industrialism, new thinking from revolutions outside England working people in a hodgepodge of groups began to think of themselves and their lot as labor as a collective that would begin to shape subsequent politics things got to come from somewhere and that is True for the working class of England.

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