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The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Wordsworth Classics)

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9781840226829: The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists (Wordsworth Classics)
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The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a classic representation of the impoverished and politically powerless underclass of British society in Edwardian England, ruthlessly exploited by the institutionalized corruption of their employers and the civic and religious authorities. Epic in scale, the novel charts the ruinous effects of the laissez-faire mercantilist ethics on the men, women, and children of the working classes, and through its emblematic characters, argues for a socialist politics as the only hope for a civilized and humane life for all. This Wordsworth edition includes an exclusive foreword by the late Tony Benn.

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The first great English novel about the class war, The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is spiked, witty, humorous, instructive and full of excitement, harmony and pathos. Alan Sillitoe

Some books seem to batter their way to immortality against all the odds, by sheer brute artistic strength, and high up in this curious and honourable company must be counted The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Robert Tressell s unfailing humour mixes with an unfailing rage and the two together make a truly Swiftian impact. Evening Standard

Robert Tressell has complete familiarity with the idiom of his characters. His language is bizarre, vital, highly inventive and precisely heard it is a complete and living archaeology of the speech of a particular human group. A brilliant and very funny book. Spectator

--Alan Sillitoe

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Groundbreaking socialist novel and cult classic first published in 1914

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