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Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c.1780-1840 (Hardback)
  • Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c.1780-1840 (Hardback)
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Imagining the Middle Class: The Political Representation of Class in Britain, c.1780-1840 (Hardback)

(author)
£82.00
Hardback 444 Pages / Published: 13/07/1995
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Why and how did the British people come to see themselves as living in a society centred around a middle class? The answer provided by Professor Wahrman challenges most prevalent historical narratives: the key to understanding changes in conceptualisations of society, the author argues, lies not in underlying transformations of social structure - in this case industrialisation, which supposedly created and empowered the middle class - but rather in changing political configurations. Firmly grounded in a close reading of an extensive array of sources, and supported by comparative perspectives on France and America, the book offers a nuanced model for the interplay between social reality, politics, and the languages of class.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521471275
Number of pages: 444
Weight: 820 g
Dimensions: 229 x 152 x 29 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
'For all those interested in the question whether class is best seen as a category of social and economic history or as an artefact of political discourse, Imagining the Middle Class is essential - and fascinating - reading.' Gareth Stedman Jones, King's College, Cambridge
"Dror Wahrman's richly documented history of how conceptions of the middle class informed political argument...confirms once more the power of linguistic analysis to illuminate the past. At the same time, Imagining the Middle Class makes it clear that such modes of inquiry will only be of major benefit to social historians when they are able to advance our understanding of political action and private conduct. To that end, we shall have to match Wahrman's skillful dissection of what was said with an equally penetrating look at who was doing the talking." Journal of Social History
"Wahrman's subtle analysis of the role of the middle class in early-19th-century Britain breaks new ground....Wahrman's study is an excellent attempt at rethinking the nature of political change in modern society." Choice
"...the book is a contribution to the recent theory wars on 'the correspondence between social being and social consciousness.' This is an outstanding piece of research and analysis that makes an important contribution to our understanding of the political and intellectual history of this period." John Smail, American Journal of Sociology
"Unafraid of big questions and controversial answers, Imagining the Middle Class is an intelligent, provocative piece of work, one that deserves a wide audience." Albion
"...the historic tale he weaves is for the most part a convincing one, and that his book removes one more cornerstone of the edifice of nineteenth-century British History." Miles Taylor, International Labor and Working-Class History
"Hopefully, this book will inspire historians to ask some new and searching questions about how bread and butter history, consciousness and the conscious historian interact and cohere (or fail to cohere)." Margaret R. Hunt, Victorian Studies

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