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, as they experienced it? 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 proletarain intellectuals, and why did they pursue the life of the mind? These questions are addressed in this book.
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Jonathan Rose is the founder and past president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing (SHARP) and coeditor of the journal Book History. He is a professor of history at Drew University, where he directs the graduate programme in book history.Review:
"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 (Timothy Larsen Books & Culture 2008-09-01)
“[E]ven the weariest cultural warrior will have to make room for Jonathan Rose’s Intellectual Life of the British Working Classes. . . . 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)
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