Fifty years since first publication, E. P. Thompson’s revolutionary account of working-class culture and ideals is published in Penguin Modern Classics, with a new introduction by historian Michael Kenny
This classic and imaginative account of working-class society in its formative years, 1780 to 1832, revolutionized our understanding of English social history. E. P. Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making and re-creates the whole-life experience of people who suffered loss of status and freedom, who underwent degradation, and who yet created a cultured and political consciousness of great vitality.
‘A dazzling vindication of the lives and aspirations of the then – and now once again – neglected culture of working-class England’ Martin Kettle, Observer
‘Superbly readable . . . a moving account of the culture of the self-taught in an age of social and intellectual deprivation’ Asa Briggs, Financial Times
‘Thompson’s work combines passion and intellect, the gifts of the poet, the narrator and the analyst’ E. J. Hobsbawm, Independent
‘An event not merely in the writing of English history but in the politics of our century’ Michael Foot, Times Literary Supplement
‘The greatest of our socialist historians’ Terry Eagleton, New Statesman
About the author:
E. P. Thompson was born in 1924 and read history at Corpus Christi, Cambridge, graduating in 1946. An academic, writer and acclaimed historian, his first major work was a biography of William Morris. The Making of the English Working Class was instantly recognized as a classic on its publication in 1963 and secured his position as one of the leading social historians of his time. Thompson was also an active campaigner and key figure in the ending of the Cold War. He died in 1993, survived by his wife and two sons.