Whigs and Hunters

By E.P. Thompson,

Book cover of Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act

Book description

With Whigs and Hunters, the author of The Making of the English Working Class, E. P. Thompson plunged into the murky waters of the early eighteenth century to chart the violently conflicting currents that boiled beneath the apparent calm of the time. The subject is the Black Act, a law…

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Why read it?

1 author picked Whigs and Hunters as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

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…

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