Synopses & Reviews
Customs in Common
is the remarkable companion to E.P. Thompson's landmark volume of social history, The Making of the English Working Class
. The product of years of research and debate, Customs in Common
describes the complex culture from which working-class institutions emerged in England—a panoply of traditions and customs that the new working class fought to preserve well into Victorian times.
In a text marked by both empathy and erudition, Thompson investigates the gradual disappearance of a range of cultural customs against the backdrop of the great upheavals of the eighteenth century. 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 developing world.
"By providing a fuller sense of the way of life capitalism destroyed, Customs in Common
helps us understand why the resistance to it was so protracted and tenacious.
[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."
Michael Merrill, 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."
Keith Thomas, The Observer (London)
"Customs in Common is meticulously researched, elegantly argued and deeply humane."
New York Times Book Review
One of this century's foremost historians describes the complex culture from which working class institutions emerged in England.
About the Author
was one of England's foremost historians and social critics. He was the author of many books, including The Making of the English Working Class
and Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law
, published by The New Press.