E. P. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class was first published in 1963. Undoubtedly one of the most influential historical books of the twentieth century, The Making set much of the agenda for the ‘new social history’ of the 1960s and 1970s, influencing generations of historians and other scholars. In a few pages in the book’s Preface, Thompson laid out some of the ideas that would guide several generations of historians: class as a relationship rather than a structure or category; the working class being ‘present at its own making’; the revolutionary potentials of working-class politics; and, perhaps most memorably, the responsibility of historians to ‘rescue’ ordinary people of the past, especially those whose struggles were defeated, from the ‘enormous condescension of posterity’. You can now download the full ebook HERE
Dr Vallance ('The Continuity of 19th Century Radicalism') provides a narrative that ties 'radical' political campaigns together, explaining how Mass Platform, Chartism and Women's Suffrage all share common themes. This continuity should not be seen as a series of failures. He was speaking at the Prince's Teaching Institute New Teachers Subject Days courses for History held at Altrincham Grammar School for Girls on 10th November 2012.
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