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eBook The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes epub

by Jonathan Rose

eBook The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes epub
  • ISBN: 0300088868
  • Author: Jonathan Rose
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Subcategory: History & Criticism
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; F First Edition edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Pages: 544 pages
  • ePUB size: 1147 kb
  • FB2 size 1476 kb
  • Formats lit docx doc txt


The book found plenty of fans among the tabloids. Rose's one and only mistake is to include the word "class" in his title.

The book found plenty of fans among the tabloids. As long ago as 1931, RH Tawney was pointing out that: "The word 'class' is fraught with unpleasing associations, so that to linger upon it is apt to be interpreted as the symptom of a perverted mind and a jaundiced spirit.

Rose's book shows popular demand and action as the engines of intellectual life of the working classes of Britain. A like demand and action, but of course under different circumstances, can be witnessed in the countries of the south. Jonathan Rose is an American and I believe his book is all the better for it. The book appeals to me because I can relate it having had parents whose education mainly came through Everyman's Library and Penguin paperbacks and whose enthusiasm for reading was passed on to me. At a time when the Government is closing public libraries, Jonathan Rose reminds us of their value in society and why we should fight to keep them.

Importantly, Rose reveals a working class intellectual life Humbling . This is a very readable, absolutely fascinating look at what the British working classes were reading and learning from the 1700s to the mid-20th century.

Importantly, Rose reveals a working class intellectual life Humbling (methodologically for the historian), and impressive (in its scholarship for that same historian): me in both cases. Through detailed analyses of things such as library stock and lending records, diaries and journals, Rose has revealed an extremely rich world of working class erudition, auto-didacticism, and scholarship.

Which books did the British working classes read-and how did they read them? . Jonathan Rose provides an intellectual history of people who were not expected to think for themselves, told from their perspective.

Which books did the British working classes read-and how did they read them? How did they respond to canonical authors, penny dreadfuls, classical music, school stories, Shakespeare, Marx, Hollywood movies, imperialist propaganda, the Bible, the BBC, the Bloomsbury Group? What was the quality of their classroom education? How did they educate themselves? . He draws on workers’ memoirs, oral history, social surveys, opinion polls, school records, library registers, and newspapers.

The dramatic rise in IOP of young lions is similar to that observed in children, but has not been previously demonstrated in animals

The dramatic rise in IOP of young lions is similar to that observed in children, but has not been previously demonstrated in animals. Significant IOP differences between lion sub-species were also demonstrated. The life and career of the famous Ukrainian breeder of the roses ZK Klimenko.

In Britain, the ‘working classes’ (pragmatically defined) made up more than 70 per cent of the population until at. .

In Britain, the ‘working classes’ (pragmatically defined) made up more than 70 per cent of the population until at least the middle of the 20th century. No doubt experts in the burgeoning field of the ‘history of the book’ will want to take issue with Rose on this and similar grounds, but his work provides a great deal of information enlivened by often moving individual stories – weavers propping books up on their looms, miners disputing the merits of their favourite poets while digging coal, office boys reading far into.

Jonathan Rose has written a most enjoyable book looking at what British workers thought about the world, their . One of the first countries where this took place was Great Britain.

Jonathan Rose has written a most enjoyable book looking at what British workers thought about the world, their schools, science, history, geography, literature, papers, films, plays, radio and music. He covers the period from the late 18th century to the mid-20th, using their memoirs, and also surveys, opinion polls, school records and library registers. Jonathan Rose's The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes uses much autobiographical material to tell us how the workers experienced their quest into written knowledge, roughly from 1760 to 1960.

Drawing on workers' memoirs, social surveys, library registers, and more, Jonathan Rose discovers which books people read, how they educated themselves, and what they knew.

Jonathan Rose's splendid book on the British working-classes' intellectual life makes a magisterial contribution to educational history. The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes is both a joy and pleasure to read. I cannot recommend it too highly. -David Levine, Journal of Social History. It is my earnest wish that everyone would find some book out of which they would derive as much pleasure as I have done in reading The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. -Timothy Larsen, Books & Culture

Which books did the British working classes read-and how did they read them? How did they respond to canonical . ven the weariest cultural warrior will have to make room for Jonathan Rose’s Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes.

Which books did the British working classes read-and how did they read them? How did they respond to canonical authors, penny dreadfuls, classical music, school stories, Shakespeare, Marx, Hollywood movies, imperialist propaganda, the Bible, the BBC, the Bloomsbury Group? What was the quality of their classroom education? . a passionate work of history that brings alive the forgotten people on whose behalf so much academic hot air is routinely expended. Daniel Akst, Wall Street Journal (Daniel Akst Wall Street Journal).

Which books did the British working classes read--and how did they read them? How did they respond to canonical authors, penny dreadfuls, classical music, school stories, Shakespeare, Marx, Hollywood movies, imperialist propaganda, the Bible, the BBC, the Bloomsbury Group? What was the quality of their classroom education? How did they educate themselves? What was their level of cultural literacy: how much did they know about politics, science, history, philosophy, poetry, and sexuality? Who were the proletarian intellectuals, and why did they pursue the life of the mind? These intriguing questions, which until recently historians considered unanswerable, are addressed in this book. Using innovative research techniques and a vast range of unexpected sources, The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes tracks the rise and decline of the British autodidact from the pre-industrial era to the twentieth century. It offers a new method for cultural historians--an "audience history" that recovers the responses of readers, students, theatergoers, filmgoers, and radio listeners. Jonathan Rose provides an intellectual history of people who were not expected to think for themselves, told from their perspective. He draws on workers' memoirs, oral history, social surveys, opinion polls, school records, library registers, and newspapers. Through its novel and challenging approach to literary history, the book gains access to politics, ideology, popular culture, and social relationships across two centuries of British working-class experience.
Comments: (3)
Riavay
I didn't know about this book, but Noam Chomsky recommended it in a video on the internet, so I ordered it. I was amassed that the book arrived in perfect shape in less than 2 weeks, instead of the estimated time of 2-3 months.

I am only beginning to read this book as I have only had it for two days now. So far I have read through Chapter 3.
Eta
Jonathan Rose has written a most enjoyable book looking at what British workers thought about the world, their schools, science, history, geography, literature, papers, films, plays, radio and music. He covers the period from the late 18th century to the mid-20th, using their memoirs, and also surveys, opinion polls, school records and library registers.
A vast popular movement of voluntary collectivism created a hugely impressive working class culture - mutual improvement societies, Sunday schools, adult schools, libraries, reading circles, drama societies, musical groups, friendly societies, trade unions and mechanics' institutes. The London Corresponding Society, the world's first working class political organisation, met weekly; readings aloud provoked democratic discussion.
Education's purpose is to teach us to think for ourselves. The working class's self-improving culture encouraged them to ask questions and voice their thoughts and feelings. The great classics, Shakespeare (often described as the first Marxist), Handel's operas and Scott's novels, all stimulated thought, imagination and independence of mind.
Rose writes well about Marxists' problem of relating to workers. The class described in these pages, complex, thoughtful, independent-minded, savvy, resent being told what to think or what it thinks. This alone explains why there is, as yet, no mass British Marxism, not external influences, or the efficacy of ruling class institutions, or, the ultra-left dogma, misleadership - get the right cutting-edge vanguard and the dim masses will at last play follow the leader.
As Rose writes, "The trouble with Marx was Marxists, whom British workers generally found to be dogmatic, selfish, and antiliterary." They dismissed the workers' hard-earned culture as bourgeois, and "they treated workers as unthinking objects." Do we, now, tell them what to think? MPs and employers believe, "Ah'm paid ter do t'thinkin' `ere." `Marxists' who repeat that approach will, rightly, get nowhere.
Ruskin wrote of those "whom the world has not thought of, far less heard of, who are yet doing most of its work, and of whom we can best learn how it can best be done." The working class will stick with capitalism until Marxists start to learn from them how the world's work `can best be done'.
Nkeiy
The spread of literacy to the masses is arguably the most far reaching cultural change of the last two centuries. One of the first countries where this took place was Great Britain. Jonathan Rose's The Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes uses much autobiographical material to tell us how the workers experienced their quest into written knowledge, roughly from 1760 to 1960. It is a historians' history, packed with information and references. It transforms our understanding of a driving force behind intellectual history.

The urge to read literature did not come from the invisible hand of the market, from the pressure of government or even from education, but from the urge of working people themselves to understand where they stood in the world, and, most importantly, to become an individual. It started as an autodidact movement.

Initially, individual workers, often wretchedly poor, had to make do with religious tracts, old newspapers and second hand books. First they had to develop an understanding of literary conventions, like the distinction between a factual and a fictional account. From about the middle of the nineteenth century mutual help became the norm. In clubs and production sites workers discussed often amazingly sophisticated literature, even when they also read what we now would call pulp fiction.

The Education Act of 1870 was followed by universal compulsory education. In historiography schools often have been put down, but many children liked their heated and clean school buildings, a far cry from conditions at home. As teaching materials were out of date, being an autodidact continued to make sense. The highpoint of autodidact culture and the mutual help societies was in the years leading up to the first world war. It encompassed about 25% of the working population. The classics came in its reach in series of cheap editions. The working classes seemed to be catching up.

In retrospect all though this period there was a 20 year gap between the latest developments in literature and what the workers got into their hands.In that light, the way in which Rose treats Bloomsbury is surprising. Coming to the fore after the First World War, Bloomsbury's writing could not be grasped by working people who were used to Victorian modes of expression. Rose has little good to say about the Bloomsbury group and his nemesis Virginia Woolf. Bloomsbury, while professing to be Bohemian, looked down upon the workers, and, even more revealing, was dead set against the shallow intellectual and literary life in the new suburbs to which socially climbing workers went. However, autobiographies and interviews show that intellectual life there was not dull, and that people read a lot. Even those who entered office life could find there a great deal of discussions. Thus, by the 1930's- 1940s, there were two rival intelligentsia, the middle class, modernist and elitist; and the working class more classical in outlook, and politically leaning towards labour.

Domestically, cultural conservatism could go together with political radicalism. Marxism did not catch on in the UK. Working people often saw Marxists as condescending and engaged in irrelevant discussions. It did not fit in with the Practical Christianity that was the norm. International developments did not mean much to them, either. Schools transmitted only hazy notions about the world outside Britain, and even about the Empire.

After World War II, especially in the 1960s Bohemian culture bounced back, and got a mass following, also among the working classes. Even though they might like movies, radio and TV more, all of these people were literate.

Instead of stopping at this change of medium, Rose moves on to make political statements about the present. He has no good words for university intellectuals who spread the idea that `all subcultures are equally valuable'. He has a point with sociology, a branch of academia which with its jargon has painted itself into a corner. But he misses the point with his equally loathed Bohemian mass culture of the 1960s and later. The last fifty years Bohemia offers people expression of what goes on in their lives, a burning need in a vastly expanding world. Here literature has been overtaken, even though it is by no means dead.

Rose's book poses shows popular demand and action as the engines of the intellectual life of the workig classes of Britain. A like demand and action, but of course under different circumstances, can be witnessed in the countries of the south. Rose gives us much to read and much to ponder. The spread of intellectual life among the working classes is by no means over.
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