Pirates to Proletarians

The Experience of the Pilots and Watermen of Crockerne Pill in the Nineteenth Century

Pirates To Proletarians Front Cover
From the earliest days of recorded history river pilots have navigated ships through the dangerous waters of the Bristol Channel and up the river Avon, with its twisting bends, shifting sand banks and strong currents. In the early nineteenth century, Bristol was granted rights to compulsory pilotage over the whole of the Channel. The Society of Merchant Venturers managed and regulated licenced pilots on behalf of Bristol Corporation. However, pilots were self-employed and operated in competition […]

Resistance to Debt: Catiline, El Barzon and Strike Debt

Miscellaneous 2012
Resistance to Debt is increasingly the way that class struggle is being expressed today. But debt resistance is not new. In Ancient Rome the battles between debtors and creditors were real ones, fought to the finish. This kind of struggle has returned in the late 20th century in many parts of the world though in a less bloody manner. Caffentzis will discuss one of the largest debt resistors' organization in history, the El Barzon (or The Yoke) movement in Mexico in the 1990s. A number of common […]

Drowning on Dry Land: Swansea’s Jack Kerouac

From working-class Wales through drugs, gambling and prison to punk, Paris fashion houses and San Francisco’s underground, Ray Jones editor of the notorious ‘Roughler’ magazine recounts his surreal life. So if chatting up Marianne Faithfull and rat arsing it with Keith Moon and Joe Strummer takes your fancy then Ray’s yer man. Watch this talk: If you see this text the video has failed to play. Please let us know by emailing brh@brh.org.uk.

Working Class Bookfair

Talks by BRHG stalwarts contributed to The Working Class Bookfair Where Now For The Left? - Ian Bone Ian Bone, Class Warrior, Ciaran Walsh IWW (involved in Traveller education), plus one other speaker (tbc). It has become common place to patronise working class people, whether those who tell us that we don't exist or the condescending description of us as 'chavs' etc. and 'dole scum'. We are working class and we are proud of it. The British working class is the oldest in the world created in the […]

The Intellectual Life Of The British Working Classes

By Jonathan Rose
The Intellectual Life Of The British Working Classes
This is a brilliant book for all people interested in the history of the working class . How good books, music and fine art moved the long revolution forward for the poor, uneducated masses, from the pre-industrial era to the twentieth century. All thinking people will be inspired by the memoirs, social surveys, statistics and research into how the working classes educated themselves. One chapter entitled ‘What Was Leonard Bast Really Like?’ gives the reader a completely new insight into the […]

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 […]

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 […]

Landscape For A Good Woman

By Carolyn Steedman
Landscape For A Good Woman
This book challenges what has previously been written about the working class in this country. The descriptions that have been oversimplified, putting people and their families from that background into a lumpen mass assuming the psychological sameness of all, and interpreted mainly by people who are not working class. In fact, class consciousness has often not been perceived as psychological consciousness. The autobiographical story is told through the memories of the author's childhood during […]

Ehud’s Dagger

Class Struggle in the English Revolution

By James Holstun
Ehud's Dagger: Class Struggle in the English Revolution
One of our visiting academics said this book was 'hard but good', so I took up the challenge and read it. The reason it is 'hard', is mainly because of the first few chapters, which launch into the sometimes vicious debate between historical revisionists (who basically think history is made by powerful individuals/institutions, we are of course unimportant), the post-modernists (who think it is so complex and non-linear it is hard to say anything so they get obsessed with making minor details […]

Albion’s Fatal Tree

Crime and Society in 18th Century England

By Hay, Linebaugh, Rule, Thompson, Winslow
Albion's Fatal Tree : Crime and Society in 18th Century England
Classic set of essays shattering the illusion of a tranquil 18th Century full of happy peasants and deferential workers promoted by establishment historians. From poaching wars to smugglers, wreckers and rioters these essays provide the hard evidence for the raging class war of the period. E.P.Thompson's study on the 'incendiary letter' is absolute quality and will still send shivers up the spine of the wealthy…(BRHG)

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