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The Cambridge Social History of Britain, 1750–1950
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  • Cited by 2
  • Volume 2: People and their Environment
  • Edited by F. M. L. Thompson, University of London
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Book description

Whilst in certain quarters it may be fashionable to suppose that there is no such thing as society historians, they have had no difficulty in finding their subject. The difficulty, rather, is that an outpouring of research and writing is hard for anyone but the specialist to keep up with the literature or grasp the overall picture. In these three volumes, as is the tradition in Cambridge Histories, a team of specialists has assembled the jigsaw of topical monographic research and presented an interpretation of the development of modern British society since 1750, from three perspectives: those of regional communities, the working and living environment, and social institutions. Each volume is self-contained, and each contribution, thematically defined, contains its own chronology of the period under review. Taken as a whole they offer an authoritative and comprehensive view of the manner and method of the shaping of society in the two centuries of unprecedented demographic and economic change.


"These unique, comprehensive, collaborative volumes offer compelling evidence of the richness and vitality of British social history some three decades after its emergence in the later 1950s and early 1960s. In many ways the 22 essays written by scholars at institutions throughout Great Britain constitute a persuasive commentary on the current healthy status of the field." Social Science Quarterly

"...are certain to become standard reference works charting the course of scholarship at a particular point in time. That is no mean accomplishment, and social historians of Britain should be grateful for it." Social Science Quarterly

"The CSHB is saved from the unevenness common to many such endeavors by the expertness of its contributors and by a concern to produce more than a collection of articles. Each volume, indeed almost every essay, can stand on its own as a worthwhile contribution to understanding British social history and a useful resource for students at all levels. Both the footnotes and the extensive bibliographies show that the promise of scholarly currency has been kept." Thomas R. Knox, Journal of Cultural Geography

"...familiar stories are told with lucidity and intelligence. The contributors, most of whom are leading figures in their fields, provide consistently thorough and balanced discussions of significant historiographic issues and debates as well as evaluate 30 years of monographic literature on social history. This collection is an important work of synthesis and consolidation...." George Robb, Journal of Economic History

"...likely to stand as monuments to the scholarship of postwar Britain and to the increasing interest in the social history of that country." Joseph Melling, Business History Review

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