Customs in Common

Studies in Traditional Popular Culture
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Author(s): E.P. Thompson
Original Publish Date: Sep 22, 2015
Product Number: EB00650735
Released: Mar 11, 2016
Business Term: Purchase
ISBN: #9781620972168
Publisher: The New Press
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Description

The "meticulously researched, elegantly argued and deeply humane" sequel to the landmark volume of social history, The Making of the English Working Class (The New York Times Book Review). This remarkable study investigates the gradual disappearance of a range of cultural customs against the backdrop of the great upheavals of the eighteenth century. As villagers were subjected to a legal system increasingly hostile to custom, they tried both to resist and to preserve tradition, becoming, as E. P. Thompson explains, "rebellious, but rebellious in defense of custom." Although some historians have written of riotous peasants of England and Wales as if they were mainly a problem for magistrates and governments, for Thompson it is the rulers, landowners, and governments who were a problem for the people, whose exuberant culture preceded the formation of working-class institutions and consciousness. Essential reading for all those intrigued by English history, Customs in Common has a special relevance today, as traditional economies are being replaced by market economies throughout the world. The rich scholarship and depth of insight in Thompson's work offer many clues to understanding contemporary changes around the globe. "[This] long-awaited collection . . . is a signal contribution . . . [from] the person most responsible for inspiring the revival of American labor history during the past thirty years." —The Nation "This book signals the return to historical writing of one of the most eloquent, powerful and independent voices of our time. At his best he is capable of a passionate, sardonic eloquence which is unequalled." —The Observer

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