Why did I love this book?
I adore this book. Thompson’s The Making of the English Working Class might be better known, but his book that I return to time and time again, his most brilliant, most detailed, most political, is Whigs and Hunters. More than any other book, this gets absolutely to the heart of how power was practiced in early eighteenth century. Against the protests of poor forest dwellers, the British state in one swoop made more acts punishable by death than the rest of the statute combined. If you want to understand how and why inequality persists, and how foodstuffs became a battleground between the rich and poor, this is essential.