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 […]

Time, Work Discipline and Industrial Capitalism

By Edward Thompson
Available as a PDF file here. Another famous, readable and ground-breaking paper by Thompson, this time looking at the imposition of work discipline in the transition to industrial capitalism. He charts the change from the task orientated work of the craftsman/labourer to the division of labour in the '(manu)factory' and the consequent resistance. The use of supervision, fines, wage incentive, preaching, schooling, the suppression of fairs and sports and of course, bells and clocks to form and […]

The Many Headed Hydra

Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic

By Marcus Rediker and Peter Linebaugh
The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic
Brilliant work charting the misunderstood and misrepresented history of the Atlantic proletariat during the rise of mercantile capitalism. Breaks out of the limits of the nation state set by previous social history and examines the struggles of slaves, sailors and commoners across the Atlantic from the old world to the new. (BRHG)

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)

Liberty Against the Law

Some 17th Century Controversies

By Christopher Hill
Liberty Against the Law : Some 17th Century Controversies
Christopher Hill was getting on a bit when he wrote this but he clearly still had lots of stuff to get out there. What a source book he has produced. Hill shows that barely a fifth of the population were content with a legal system which was enclosing the commons, crushing customary rights and creating a class of landless labourers. Highwaymen, pirates, gypsies, vagabonds, levellers and religious radicals (amongst others) fight these changes creating their own culture of resistance in the […]

The World Turned Upside Down

Radical Ideas During the English Revolution

By Christopher Hill
Find out about why it was the English Revolution and not just the English Civil War. Discover the 'third force' of the period, Levellers, Diggers, Ranters, Religious Radicals and the rebellious New Model Army that frightened the Royalists and Parlimentarians alike with their 'communist' ideas. Absolute classic, to be read aloud to your mates on stormy nights (with a few beers). (BRHG)

The London Hanged

Crime and Civil Society in the 18th Century

By Peter Linebaugh
This book takes you right into the everyday life of the 18th century British working class and how their existing customary rights came directly into conflict with the new needs of emerging capitalism. Sounds boring, but Linebaugh is excellent at blending both the experiences of the individual labourer with the overall thrust of the history. This book is extremely important if you want to understand the transition from feudal to capitalist work relations. Also excellent chapters on public […]

Gone to Croatan

The Origins of North American Dropout Culture

By Ron Sakolsky & James Koehnline
Lost history viewed through cracks in the cartographies of control, including "tri-racial isolate" communities, buccaneers, "white Indians", black Islamic movements, the Maroons of the Great Dismal Swamp, the Métis nation, scandalous eugenics theories, rural "hippie" communes, and many other aspects of North American autonomous cultures. (Autonomedia)

The Life And Times Of Warren James

Free Miner Of The Forest Of Dean

The Life And Times Of Warren James Front Cover
Warren James was a man who was caught up in the social unrest that swept through the Forest of Dean in 1831, and who emerged as spokesman for the Foresters in their struggle to protect their ancient rights and way of life. The Forest Riots of 1831 were about insecurity, fear, poverty and starvation as a result of enclosures, enforced wage labour or unemployment. The Foresters fought to resist the twin onslaught from the Crown, who owned the Forest, and from businessmen who sought industrial […]

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