Cannadine, David Class in Britain

ISBN 13: 9780140249545

Class in Britain

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9780140249545: Class in Britain

David Cannadine's unique history examines the British preoccupation with class and the different ways the British have thought about their own society. From the eighteenth through the twentieth century, he traces the different ways British society has been viewed, unveiling the different purposes each model has served. This is a social, intellectual and political history and a powerful account of how and why class has shaped British identity.

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"Class," the grocer's daughter Margaret Thatcher once remarked, "is a Communist concept. It groups people as bundles and sets them against one another." The notion of social and economic classes has certainly been a durable one, and it has proven useful to not only Communist theoreticians but also historians and social scientists of all stripes.

Nowhere does the idea of class seem quite so powerful as in Britain, writes London University historian David Cannadine in this engrossing study. Although his fellow historians have largely abandoned class analysis in their work, social distinctions and divisions persist and remain powerful. That historians (notably among them the Marxist scholars E P Thompson and Eric Hobsbawm) and politicians now prefer to disregard those distinctions, Cannadine believes, is the result of "the shift from the traditional preoccupation with people as collective producers to the alternative notion of people as individual consumers"--the triumph, in other words, of market capitalism. Yet, Cannadine continues, it is through the lens of class that Britons "understand and describe their social worlds" and not through other idealised models.

Cannadine examines the work of scholars and political thinkers who have attempted to alter that view, among them Conservative leader Stanley Baldwin, whose "main concern was to change the way the British looked and felt and thought about their society and themselves." However well intentioned, such efforts are doomed to failure, Cannadine argues, and although Tories and Labourites promise a classless society to come, the British view will likely remain class-bound. --Gregory McNamee

About the Author:

David Cannadine is Professor of History and director of the Institute of Historical Research at London University. He is the author of several books including THE PLEASURES OF THE PAST, THE DECLINE AND FALL OF THE BRITISH ARISTROCRACY and HISTORY IN OUR TIME.

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. David Cannadine s unique history examines the British preoccupation with class and the different ways the British have thought about their own society. From the eighteenth through the twentieth century, he traces the different ways British society has been viewed, unveiling the different purposes each model has served. This is a social, intellectual and political history and a powerful account of how and why class has shaped British identity. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140249545

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 2000. Paperback. Book Condition: New. 196 x 128 mm. Language: English . Brand New Book. David Cannadine s unique history examines the British preoccupation with class and the different ways the British have thought about their own society. From the eighteenth through the twentieth century, he traces the different ways British society has been viewed, unveiling the different purposes each model has served. This is a social, intellectual and political history and a powerful account of how and why class has shaped British identity. Bookseller Inventory # APG9780140249545

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