A Flawed Conception of Class

Levine, Bruce

Publisher:  Against The Current
Date Written:  01/09/2013
Year Published:  2013  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX20085

A critique of E.P. Thompson's 'The Making of the English Working Class.'



I first read the Making of the English Working Class as a radical-minded college student in the late 1960s. Its focus on "anonymous" working people certainly did inspire me and help launch me on my own subsequent studies of labor and laboring classes.

I assume, though, that all these years later -- and especially in a discussion like the present one -- I needn’t elaborate on the book's many strengths. Others will do that very well. I want instead to talk about an important weakness in that book, one that I believe offers poor guidance both to labor historians and socialist-minded labor activists.
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