Essays in Anti-Labour History | SpringerLink
The editor's introduction specifies a number of goals for this volume which show that the ambition is much more than antiquarian. First, recognition of the role played by party members in shaping Labour's wider social and political history; second, to reveal, explore and help understand the variegated nature of the party's [End Page 295] organization, political identity and electoral fortunes; to rescue from obscurity those men and women who helped sustain the party in the twentieth century; and to find the links between practical politics in everyday life and formal politics based on struggles in and around the state. These are useful objectives and through the subsequent chapters a picture emerges of the contribution, patchy though it inevitably was, which party made to the social and cultural environment of inter-war Britain and the creation of a working class 'public sphere'. This was of course a two-way process with strong local variations in party milieu, as Duncan Tanner's and Karen Hunt's chapters show in relation to Labour women (and Andrew Thorpe's chapter shows in relation to the south-west), depending on the interaction of local agencies and structures. There is enough evidence in the book as a whole to support Stefan Berger's comparison of the S.P.D. and the Labour party which maintains that though the German party was in many ways a model for its British counterpart, sharing many of the characteristics of its party milieux, their differences can be explained by differences in their influence over local politics, as well as differences connected to the character of the state and the timing of the appearance of mass, commercialized leisure in the two countries. Overall, however, one would have to conclude that the book does not engage consistently with the theoretical and methodological issues implied in the introduction. In the main it adds information and detail to, but does not challenge, established studies of Labour history and even those who ignored local evidence entirely in their own efforts will feel that they have little to worry about. [End Page 296]
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Essays in Anti-Labour History pp 105-125
This book throws new light on the interlocking commercial relationships of the Atlantic trading world during the centuries ending with the American and French Revolutions. Grouped under four themes - the role of merchants and their connections; the development of trades; imperial economies; and colonial working societies - and written by an international team of thirteen celebrated economic historians, these essays add to our knowledge and understanding of the transatlantic economy. Contributions range from studies of individual businessmen, labour patterns, port cities, and branches of trade, to comparative studies of trading nations. They consider the role of the British and French empires as well as the imperial endeavours of other European powers in the Atlantic, drawing attention to the wider implications. This book throws new light on commerce and the early modern Atlantic economy, and will be a valuable resource for economic historians at all levels.
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