Chavs

The demonization of the working class

By Owen Jones
Chavs: the demonization of the working class
The backdrop of this book is the social and economic transformation of society in Britain over the last 30 years overseen by the political management of Thatcher and Blair; characterised by the erosion of the British organised industrial working class, through the destruction of British industry. However the book is not concerned with looking at that class war (when competing fractions of the bourgeoisie fought a war to the death while uniting to attack the combativity of the proletariat across […]

The Shadow Of Marriage

Singleness in England 1914-60

By Katherine Holden
The Shadow Of Marriage: Singleness in England 1914-60
This very well researched book concerns single men and women living in England during the early years until the mid twentieth century. Information taken from various sources, such as official records, statistics, interviews with elderly single people and institutions, create a very clear picture of people who were unmarried during those years. The attitude of society at that time towards illegitimacy, the unmarried mother, abortion, divorce, adoption, homosexuality, is discussed. Singleness was […]

In Contempt of All Authority

Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660

By Buchanan Sharp
In Contempt of All Authority: Rural Artisans and Riot in the West of England, 1586-1660
Two of the most common types of popular disorders in late Tudor and early Stuart England were the food riots and the anti-enclosure riots in royal forests. Of particular interest are the forest riots known collectively as the Western Rising of 1626-1632, and the lesser known disorders in the Western forests which took place during the English Civil War. The central aims of this volume are to establish the social status of the people who engaged in those riots and to determine the social and […]

The Last Rising of the Agricultural Labourers

Rural Life and Protest in Nineteenth-Century England

By Barry Reay
The Last Rising of the Agricultural Labourers
The Hernhill Rising of 1838 was the last battle fought on English soil, the last revolt against the New Poor Law, and England’s last millenarian rising. The bloody ‘Battle of Bosenden Wood’, fought in a corner of rural Kent, was the culmination of a revolt led by the self-styled ‘Sir William Courtenay’. It was also, despite the greater fame of the 1830 Swing Riots, the last rising of the agricultural labourers. Barry Reay provides us with the first comprehensive and scholarly analysis of the […]

‘By a Flash and a Scare’

Arson, Animal Maiming, and Poaching in East Anglia 1815-1870

By John E. Archer
By A Flash
‘By a Flash and a Scare’ illuminates the darker side of rural life in the nineteenth century. Flashpoints such as the Swing riots, Tolpuddle, and the New Poor Law riots have long attracted the attention of historians, but here John E. Archer focuses on the persistent war waged in the countryside during the 1800s, analysing the prevailing climate of unrest, discontent, and desperation. In this detailed and scholarly study, based on intensive research among the local records of Norfolk and […]

The People’s Farm

English Radical Agrarianism 1775-1840

By Malcolm Chase
The People’s Farm: English Radical Agrarianism 1775-1840
This book traces the development of agrarian ideas from the 1770s through to Chartism, and seeks to explain why, in an era of industrialization and urban growth, land remained one of the major issues in popular politics. Malcolm Chase considers the relationship between ‘land consciousness’ and early socialism; attempts to create alternative communities; and contemporary perceptions of nature and the environment. He concludes that, far from being an anachronistic, utopian, and reactionary […]

By Rite

Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880

By Bob Bushaway
By Rite: Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880
Political philosophers (such as Gramsci) and social historians (such as E. P. Thompson) have suggested that rural customs and ceremonies have much more to them than the picturesqueness which has attracted traditional folklorists. They can be seen to have a purpose in the structures of rural society. But no historian has really pursued this idea for the English folk materials of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries: the period from which most evidence survives. Bringing together a wealth of […]

Q

By Luther Blisset
By Rite: Custom, Ceremony and Community in England 1700-1880
What a rollicking read! This book blasts you through the religious wars of 16th Century Northern Europe at a cracking pace. The authors (all four of them) are truly steeped in the knowledge of the period's history - and it shows! The characters are real, living and, all too often, bloody participants in the protestant (in this case German Anabaptist) struggle to overthrow the Catholic Church's Holy Empire. But more, it's the story of people’s struggle to overthrow the dominant mindset imposed by […]

Manituana

By Wu Ming
Manituana
First known as 'Luther Blisset', Bologna's fiction-writing collective return with a stylish atmospheric and provocotive saga set in British America in the years prior to the white settler uprising of 1776. There's the rub: turning received ideas on their head, as ever, Wu Ming evoke the coming rebellion through the eyes of the Mohawk nation loyal to George III, the 'Great English Father'. At the core of this sweeping, narrative, bursting with colour and character, stands the real-life war chief, […]

The Darker the Night the Brighter the Stars

By Friedrich Schlotterbeck
The Darker the Night the Brighter the Stars
This is a personal account of one man’s experiences in Germany from 1933 until the end of the war in 1945. As a communist, arrested by the Gestapo, tortured and sent to a concentration camp, he describes his existence of ten years as a prisoner of the nazi regime. He gives an insight into how the system operated, mainly by brutality and betrayal. The courage and bravery of people who opposed the fascists is conveyed clearly in this account and it is an important record of ordinary working men […]

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