Born OTD in 1917, British historian of the rise of industrial capitalism, socialism & nationalism, Eric Hobsbawm. This collection of 26 essays range over the history of working men & women between the late 18th century & the present day, and brings back into print a selection of this celebrated historian’s pioneering studies into labour history, together with more recent reflections previously unpublished in book form. Hobsbawm’s penetrating essays on labour history & social protest opened up a new field of study & set standards of wide-ranging, evocative, incisive analysis.

Essays in this collection include the formation of the British working class; labour custom and traditions; the political radicalism of … More

This book argues that British working-class urban culture was silenced in the period 1900 – 1950 and that the effects of this are still felt. The agencies of this silencing were state education, the BBC Radio and the commercialisation of working class cultural institutions (from 1850). The effects in my own life are picked up from the fifties onwards and some of the fightback against the hegemony of silencing is shown often with graphic pages. The style is a cross between lecture slides and Zine! So a lot of mini posters, and graphic pages.

“What does it feel like for a whole class to collectively loose its voice? Stefan Szczelkun’s Silence! is a careful tracking … More

Born OTD in 1924, historian, writer, socialist & peace campaigner, E. P. Thompson. He is probably best known today for his historical work on the British radical movements in the late 18th & early 19th centuries, in particular The Making of the English Working Class. This classic and imaginative account of working-class society in its formative years, 1780 to 1832, revolutionized our understanding of English social history. Thompson shows how the working class took part in its own making and re-creates the whole-life experience of people who suffered loss of status and freedom, who underwent degradation, and who yet created a cultured and political consciousness of great vitality.

Reflecting on the importance of the book for its 50th anniversary, Emma Griffin explained that Thompson “uncovered details about workshop … More

Working-class artists continue to be hugely underrepresented in the arts industries, though they make up a third of the British population. These professions are already notoriously hard to get into, but working class artists face extra challenges, from unpaid work reinforcing social disparity, to prejudice. How do we break this cycle of inequality in the arts? In Smashing It, leading musicians, playwrights, visual artists, filmmakers and writers share how they overcame obstacles, from the financial to the philosophical, to make it in the arts.

Edited by acclaimed poet and playwright Sabrina Mahfouz, it celebrates the achievements of working class artists in Britain, from the … More

A fascinating trip around the side streets and back to backs of working class cinema, exploring the British New Wave kitchen sink dramas of the 50s and 60s, such as Saturday Night and Sunday Morning, A Taste of Honey and This Sporting Life, to Kes, Quadrophenia and This is England. From stuffy post-war stereotypes to more ethnically diverse work and female orientated films, this is an unflinching look at a gritty sub-genre and its constant clashes with controversy, censorship and the establishment. If you’re a fan of challenging, unforgettable British movies, this book is it, all the rest is propaganda.

Andrew Graves is a poet and writer who regularly performs his work throughout the UK. His first full collection Light … More

Kerry Hudson is proudly working class but she was never proudly poor. The poverty she grew up in was all-encompassing, grinding & often dehumanising. Always on the move with her single mother, Kerry attended nine primary schools & five secondaries, living in B&Bs & council flats. She scores eight out of ten on the Adverse Childhood Experiences measure of childhood trauma. Twenty years later, Kerry’s life is unrecognisable. She’s a prizewinning novelist who has travelled the world. She has a secure home, a loving partner & access to art, music, film & books. But she often finds herself looking over her shoulder, caught somehow between two worlds.

Lowborn is Kerry’s exploration of where she came from. She revisits the towns she grew up in to try to … More

Working-class stories are not always tales of the underprivileged & dispossessed. Common People is a collection of essays, poems & memoir written in celebration, not apology: these are narratives rich in barbed humour, reflecting the depth & texture of working-class life, the joy & sorrow, the solidarity & the differences, the everyday wisdom & poetry of the woman at the bus stop, the waiter, the hairdresser. Here, Kit de Waal brings together 33 established & emerging writers who invite you to experience the world through their eyes, their voices loud & clear as they reclaim & redefine what it means to be working class.

Features original pieces from Damian Barr, Malorie Blackman, Lisa Blower, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Stuart Maconie, Chris McCrudden, Lisa McInerney, … More

“..I was distracted from the frontline, though, by appearance on Top of the Pops one Thursday night of a new group. The sampled Prince Buster screech at the start of the song… Now, Saturday mornings were spent exploring every possible way of exchanging my pocket money for 2-Tone and 2-Tone related products.”

Know Your Place Is a collection of essays about the working class, written by the working class. We had an … More

“I am a socialist, & have been fighting and will fight for an absolute reconstruction of society for the benefit of all. I am proud of my conduct. I have squared my conduct with my intellect, and if everyone had done so this war would not have taken place. I act square and clean for my principles. I have nothing to retract. I have nothing to be ashamed of. Your class position is against my class position. There are two classes of morality. There is the working class morality and there is the capitalist class morality…”

There is this antagonism as there is the antagonism between Germany and Britain. A victory for Germany is a defeat … More