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"Parish-Fed Bastards": A History of the Politics of the Unemployed in Britain, 1884-1939 (Contributions in Labor Studies)
This volume breaks tradition with previous studies of the unemployed in Britain. It offers a history highlighting the active political nature of the unemployed, rather than a depiction of them as passive victims of the system whose existence signals economic decline and social injustice. Beginning with the first appearance of the jobless as a political...
This volume breaks tradition with previous studies of the unemployed in Britain. It offers a history highlighting the active political nature of the unemployed, rather than a depiction of them as passive victims of the system whose existence signals economic decline and social injustice. Beginning with the first appearance of the jobless as a political group in 1884, Richard Flanagan reduces large amounts of available information on their activities-- outlining the major points that define the nature of the politics of the unemployed, discussing their troubled leadership, and documenting the government's response to their efforts through the end of the National Unemployment Workers' Movement in 1939.Curious as to why much of the information about Britain's unemployed has been overlooked, Flanagan lifts the literature on the subject out of what he considers to be a largely fictionalized view by presenting a factual, historically relevant account examining the unemployed in relation to their society, past and present, and how they were able to overcome their diversity at certain times of crisis to form a single political voice and gain some control over their lives. The study reaches beyond the immediate subject, as its conclusions reflect upon the connection between unemployment and any industrialized society, the viability of certain solutions to the conflicts between classes, and most importantly, the political influence that even the most disadvantaged can exert if encouraged to take an active role in their future.
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