Best Selling Books by EP Thompson

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The Making of the English Working Class
A seminal text on the history of the working class by one of the most important intellectuals of the twentieth century. 

During the formative years of the Industrial Revolution, English workers and artisans claimed a place in society that would shape the following centuries. But the capitalist elite did not form the working class—the workers shaped their own creations, developing a shared identity in the process. Despite their lack of power and the indignity forced upon them by the upper classes, the working class emerged as England’s greatest cultural and political force. Crucial to contemporary trends in all aspects of society, at the turn of the nineteenth century, these workers united into the class that we recognize all across the Western world today. E.P. Thompson’s magnum opus, The Making of the English Working Class defined early twentieth-century English social and economic history, leading many to consider him Britain’s greatest postwar historian. Its publication in 1963 was highly controversial in academia, but the work has become one of the most influential social commentaries every written.
release date: Oct 13, 1994
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Witness against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law
E. P. Thompson's long-awaited book on William Blake was published shortly after the historian's death in August 1993. Acclaimed as one of his best and most deeply felt works, it appears now for the first time in paperback. Written with a vivid passion, and bearing the marks of Thompson's lifelong struggle against authoritarian and anti-humanitarian politics both at the level of the individual and of the state, Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law is a profound enquiry into the structure of Blake's thought and the character of his sensibility. Its qualities are among those which place Thompson himself in the same tradition of dissenting values and non-conforming radicalism represented by Blake some two hundred years earlier.
release date: Mar 01, 2013
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Whigs and Hunters
With Whigs and Hunters, the author of The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson plunged into the murky waters of the early eighteenth century to chart the violently conflicting currents that boiled beneath the apparent calm of the time. The subject is the Black Act, a law of unprecedented savagery passed by Parliament in 1723 to deal with 'wicked and evil-disposed men going armed in disguise'. These men were pillaging the royal forest of deer, conducting a running battle against the forest officers with blackmail, threats and violence. These 'Blacks', however, were men of some substance; their protest (for such it was) took issue with the equally wholsesale plunder of the forest by Whig nominees to the forest offices. And Robert Walpole, still consolidating his power, took an active part in the prosecution of the 'Blacks'. The episode is laden with political and social implications, affording us glimpses of considerable popular discontent, political chicanery, judicial inequity, corrupt ambition and crime.
release date: Jan 01, 1978
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Poverty of Theory
This classic collection of essays by E.P. Thompson, one of England’s most renowned socialist voices, remains a staple text in the history of Marxist theory. The bulk of the book is dedicated to Thompson’s famous polemic against Louis Althusser and what he considers the reductionism and authoritarianism of Althusserian structuralism. In lively and erudite prose, Thompson argues for a self-critical and unapologetically humanist Marxist tradition. Also included are three essays of considerable importance to the development of the New Left.
release date: Jul 18, 2014
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E.P. Thompson and the Making of the New Left: Essays and Polemics
E. P. Thompson is a towering fi gure in the fi eld of labor history, best known for his monumental and path-breaking work, The Making of the English Working Class. But as this collection shows, Thompson was much more than a historian: he was a dedicated educator of workers, a brilliant polemicist, a skilled political theorist, and a tireless agitator for peace, against nuclear weapons, and for a rebirth of the socialist project.
 
The essays in this book, many of which are either out-of-print or diffi cult to obtain, were written between 1955 and 1963 during one of the most fertile periods of Thompson’s intellectual and political life, when he wrote his two great works, The Making of the English Working Class and William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary. They reveal Thompson’s insistence on the vitality of a humanistic and democratic socialism along with the value of utopian thinking in radical politics. Throughout, Thompson struggles to open a space independent of offi cial Communist Parties and reformist Social Democratic Parties, opposing them with a vision of socialism built from the bottom up. Editor Cal Winslow, who studied with Thompson, provides context for the essays in a detailed introduction and reminds us why this eloquent and inspiring voice remains so relevant to us today.
release date: Feb 01, 1997
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Beyond the Frontier: The Politics of a Failed Mission: Bulgaria 1944
E. P. Thompson (1924-1993) was one of the preeminent British historians of the second half of the twentieth century; his The Making of the English Working Class (1964) is arguably the most influential work of British history published during that period. In the present work, originally presented as a set of lectures at Stanford University, Thompson returned to a question that had been on his mind since the war years, the circumstances surrounding the death of his older brother Frank as a British Liaison Officer with the Bulgarian partisans in 1944.
Though these events, Thompson admitted, constituted only a historical footnote, they afforded him an opportunity to engage larger intellectual and political matters that we now associate with the early beginnings of the Cold War and to illustrate certain elements of historical method. Thompson was here concerned not so much with what is fact and what is interpretation as with "the activities of anti-historians, how sensitive evidence is destroyed or screened, how myths originate, how historical anecdote may simply be a code for ideology, how the reasons of state are eternally at war with historical knowledge."
Early in 1944, a British Special Operations mission was parachuted into Serbia to make contact with a group of Bulgarian partisans operating in the area. Their aim was to arrange air drops of supplies for the partisans and to assist them in extending guerrilla warfare across the frontier into Bulgaria itself. Frank Thompson was head of the British mission when it entered Bulgaria with the partisan forces. By the end of May, the entire group had been killed or captured. After a show trial, Frank (though a British officer in uniform) was executed by a firing squad together with the remaining leaders of the partisans and the villagers who had aided them.
The book shows how the status of the actors in this drama―and the respect accorded to them in the decades that followed―varied with changes in the political climate of Europe and the world. It does not simply examine the events themselves, although these are clarified, but also analyzes the politics that lay behind the events, notably the conflicting interests of the "western" and "eastern" allies in supporting the partisans and the British liaison mission.
release date: Mar 26, 1993
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The Wheelwright's Shop (Canto original series)
George Sturt's frank and moving account of his trade as a wheelwright in the late nineteenth century offers a unique glimpse into the working lives of craftsmen in a world since banished by technology. The wheelwright's shop where he entered business had been operating for two centuries; this chronicle, first published in 1923, is a poignant record of that tradition, written as it was passing into history. E. P. Thompson's new foreword acclaims the significance of Sturt's engaging narrative as a vital document in the history of labour at the turn of the century. '... a classic ... Mr Sturt's masterpiece. A delightfully urbane and informing book, full of valuable material for the social historian and a sheer pleasure to read.' New Statesman 'It shows in the author a combination of the gifts of a handicraftsman, the actual maker of things, with the powers of a writer, in a way not common in English literature.' The Times Literary Supplement
release date: Mar 01, 2001
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The Essential E. P. Thompson (New Press Essential)
The most comprehensive selection of writings from the acclaimed historian.
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release date: Mar 18, 2020
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The Making of the English Working Class by E. P. Thompson (1966-02-12)
Brand New. In Stock. Will be shipped from US. Excellent Customer Service.
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release date: Jan 01, 1995
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Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law
Witness Against the Beast is a groundbreaking interdisciplinary study in which the renowned social historian E.P. Thompson contends that most of the assumptions scholars have made about William Blake are misleading and unfounded. Brilliantly reexamining Blake’s cultural milieu and intellectual background, Thompson detects in Blake’s poetry a repeated call to resist the usury and commercialism of the “Antichrist” embodied by contemporary society—to “witness against the beast.”
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