Liberty’s Dawn A People’s History of the Industrial Revolution - Emma Griffin
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Liberty's Dawn_ A People's History of the Industrial Revolution  - Emma Griffin

Written by Emma Griffin
Edition: 2013
Format(s): PDF
Language: English

This remarkable book looks at hundreds of autobiographies penned between 1760 and 1900 to offer an intimate firsthand account of how the Industrial Revolution was experienced by the working class. The Industrial Revolution brought not simply misery and poverty. On the contrary, Griffin shows how it raised incomes, improved literacy and offered exciting opportunities for political action.

“Liberty’s Dawn is a triumph, achieved in fewer than 250 gracefully written pages. They persuasively purvey Griffin’s historical conviction. She is intimate with her audience, wooing it and teasing it along the way.”—Anthony Fletcher, Times Literary Supplement
(Anthony Fletcher Times Literary Supplement 2013-10-11)

“An admirably intimate and expansive revisionist history.”—Publishers Weekly
(Publishers Weekly)

“A provocative study.”—The New Yorker
(The New Yorker)

“This is a brave book that challenges accepted wisdom by offering a decidedly optimistic view of the impact of the Industrial Revolution on the opportunities, freedoms and choices available to the working class.”—Pat Hudson, Times Higher Education Supplement
(Pat Hudson Times Higher Education Supplement 2013-08-01)

'A totally compelling account of the Industrial Revolution. Through a remarkable range of life stories, Emma Griffin opens up this extraordinary epoch of change, providing a brilliant chronicle of its social history and upending traditional interpretations in the process. With her light touch and rigorous scholarship, Griffin provides an important and rewarding overview of this defining moment in British history.' - Tristram Hunt, author of Building Jerusalem: The Rise and Fall of the Victorian City
(Tristram Hunt)

'Emma Griffin's brilliant use of the voices of the poor that survive in memoirs allows us to grasp the ambiguiities and complexities of their encounter with the momentous changes of the Industrial Revolution as never before. It was not simply a time of harsdhip and disruption but of opportunity and release from social constraints. Griffin's stylish and accessible account marks a major shift in our understanding of this period that moves beyond economic abstractions: we hear the voices of those who lived through the creation of the world's first industrial society.' - Martin Daunton, author of Wealth and Welfare: An Economic and Social History of Britain, 1851-1951
(Martin Daunton)

'Emma Griffin gives a new and powerful voice to the men and women whose blood and sweat greased the wheels of the Industrial Revolution.' - Tim Hitchcock, author of Down and Out in Eighteenth-Century London
(Tim Hitchcock)

“Through the ‘messy tales’ of more than 350 working-class lives, Emma Griffin arrives at an upbeat interpretation of the Industrial Revolution most of us would hardly recognise. It is quite enthralling.”—Elizabeth Grice, Oldie Magazine
(Elizabeth Grice Oldie Magaizne 2013-07-27)

“Griffin’s crisp and accessible prose rests on a foundation of scrupulous scholarship.”—Amanda Vickery, The Guardian (Amanda Vickery The Guardian 2013-12-28)

‘This is a novel twist on the story behind the Industrial Revolution. Griffin does a fine job in personalising the social history of the period by trawling through hundreds of autobiographies from 1760-1900 to offer first-hand experiences of how this era impacted upon the working classes, including a rise in income and improved literacy.’—Steve Harnell, Who Do You Think You Are Magazine (Stever Harnell Who Do You Think You Are Magazine 2014-04-01)

‘Griffin’s excellent history of writing by those born in poverty. . .shine[s] a light on what working men endured. . .and what they felt about it, in their own words.’—Lesley McDowell, Sunday Herald (Lesley McDowell Sunday Herald 2014-03-23)
About the Author
Emma Griffin is professor of history at the University of East Anglia. She lives in Norwich, UK.

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