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Workshop of the World by Raphael Samuel
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Workshop of the World

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Workshop of the World by Raphael Samuel
Paperback $34.95
Jan 23, 2024 | ISBN 9781804292808

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    Jan 23, 2024 | ISBN 9781804292808

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“One of the most influential historians of his generation, a prodigious teacher, researcher and writer … Today Samuel is best known for his work on popular memory and for History Workshop. John Merrick’s new selection of his essays aims to rectify that: it brings together a sample of Samuel’s historical studies, several of which are still thrilling to read, and most of which would have been difficult to get hold of without access to a good university library. Fanon, Sylvia Wynter, her own parents, among others), she exercises a right to address, become coeval, and build a world anew with strangers and familiars, those who have gone and who”
—Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, London Review of Books

Workshop of the World, across its various guises, paints a picture of the streets, factories, chapels, clubs, offices, and slums of England that formed the culture and practices of the country’s working class, from the coal miner and the seamstress to the office clerk. … Workshop of the World may yet serve to reestablish Samuel’s reputation. Rightly, Merrick has attempted to cast Samuel as a socialist essayist of equal rank to Hill, Thompson, Hobsbawm, Williams, Nairn, and Anderson. If this case is to be made, no greater evidence can be marshalled than the unique world-building effect of his writing on our understanding of history and the working class.”
—Samuel McIlhagga, Jacobin

Workshop of the World reveals how Raphael Samuel dived into the nineteenth century to find just how onions were pickled or the temperature of cheese tested, extending far and wide from rough sleepers in Willesden to Roman Catholic missionaries in Wallasey. John Merrick’s collection of Samuel’s essays provides the reader with an invaluable introduction to the political and cultural background which inspired this insightful and exploratory radical historian.”
—Sheila Rowbotham

“These essays are works of extraordinary intellectual energy, refusing to identify method with political orientation, luminous in their historiographic clarity, which turn our attention from the commonplaces of history to the exceptions that deny the clichés: to a post- 1800 world driven by seasons, not the clock, a post-industrial revolution world of production dominated not by the factory, but the farm, the workshop, the cottage, where skills are created and work degraded, where the machine does not rule; of peri-urban villages of brickmakers, and much, much more besides. A feast of erudition with purpose.”
—David Edgerton, author of The Rise and Fall of the British Nation

“John Merrick and Verso should be thanked for giving a new generation of readers the chance to encounter the youngest of the British Marxist historians, and the one closest in time to ourselves. Samuel was a charismatic teacher, an extraordinarily well-read historian, and a generous man – his too-long-forgotten voice greets us from every line.”
—David Renton

“An excellent selection … Merrick’s smart introduction and deftly chosen texts should revive interest and admiration in a socialist historian whose eye for unconsidered trifles led him beyond the political binaries of his time and ours.”
—Michael Ledger-Lomas, Engelsberg Ideas

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