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Classes and cultures [electronic resource] : England 1918-1951 /
Ross McKibbin.
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.
description
x, 562 p. ; 25 cm.
ISBN
0198206720 (hardback)
format(s)
Book
More Details
imprint
Oxford ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1998.
isbn
0198206720 (hardback)
restrictions
Licensed for access by U. of T. users.
catalogue key
8566019
 
Includes bibliographical references (p. [537]-545) and index.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 1998-11:
McKibbin synthesizes an enormous amount of recent scholarship into an extended meditation on the role of social class in British cultural life. Although this focus is a safe choice, McKibbin provides nuanced discussions of a broad range of topics, including education, social mobility, religion, sexuality, sport, music, cinema, radio, and language. His extensive analysis of the various social classes, which opens the book, nicely surveys difficult terrain, though the mechanistic organization of the work sometimes obscures larger themes. Still, McKibbin offers pertinent observations in virtually every chapter. For example, his discussion of the complexities and ambiguities of Americanization notes the significance of gender as more women than men embraced the "glamour" of the US. Throughout the book, McKibbin emphasizes the decisiveness of WW II for class perceptions and attitudes. Whereas in the 1930s a rapidly modernizing middle class defined democracy in familiar individualistic categories, a decade later the working class provided a carefully circumscribed social democratic alternative. McKibbin argues that despite its many successes, the Labour government could not create an enduring civic culture that could withstand the erosion of the industrial working class. Upper-division undergraduates and above. D. L. LeMahieu; Lake Forest College
Reviews
Review Quotes
"...a brilliantly written, deeply subtle critique of social classes and cultural attitudes from the Armistice to the Festival of Britain....[McKibbin] has deconstructed the essence of a great people, with skill and an Australian's wry detachment."--The Guardian
"...a brilliantly written, deeply subtle critique of social classes and cultural attitudes from the Armistice to the Festival of Britain....[McKibbin] has deconstructed the essence of a great people, with skill and an Australian's wry detachment."-- The Guardian "...a work of major importance that will have to be taken seriously by anyone concerned with the role of class in twentieth-century England."-- American Historical Review "...this very original analysis of English society during a handful of decades in the first half of the twentieth century merits attention precisely because it suggests how much can be accomplished if an effort is made to combine a consideration of changes in social class structure with cultural continuities and transformations....McKibbin's genius resides in his capacity to dwell on significant detail, to provide statistical data of every kind, at the same time offering provocative insights on the information he has garnered through a close study of many kinds of evidence."-- Albion "The detail of this book is marvelous."-- British Politics Group Newsletter
"...a brilliantly written, deeply subtle critique of social classes and cultural attitudes from the Armistice to the Festival of Britain....[McKibbin] has deconstructed the essence of a great people, with skill and an Australian's wry detachment."--The Guardian "...a work of major importance that will have to be taken seriously by anyone concerned with the role of class in twentieth-century England."--American Historical Review "...this very original analysis of English society during a handful of decades in the first half of the twentieth century merits attention precisely because it suggests how much can be accomplished if an effort is made to combine a consideration of changes in social class structure with cultural continuities and transformations....McKibbin's genius resides in his capacity to dwell on significant detail, to provide statistical data of every kind, at the same time offering provocative insights on the information he has garnered through a close study of many kinds of evidence."--Albion "The detail of this book is marvelous."--British Politics Group Newsletter
'absorbing book ... McKibbin's is a compelling and stimulating analysis,full of fascinating detail shaped by the continuing relevance of the mainthemes, and impressive in the imagination and perception brought to the period.The style is characterstically trenchant and relentlessly analytical. Thejudgements on particular points of culture and social life are authoritativerather than derivative. It is written with humour, wit and sympathy; like someof the fiction he describes, the book is hard to put down. It is a splendidachievement.'R. C. Whiting, University of Leeds, EHR Sept 99
...a detailed, thorough, well written and full account, which treats itssubject fairly, and is well worth reading for anyone interested in the recenthistory of British culture and society. - Dave Renton. Socialist Review. October1998.
'a work of major importance that will have to be taken seriously by anyone concerned with the role of class in twentieth-century England.'Harold L.Smith, American Historical Rev., Apr 2000.
'fascinating new work ... It is a vividly detailed, highly readable account of the actual cultures of the classes ... McKibbin is fascinating and informative on home ownership.'Bernard Crick, Independent Saturday Magazine
'fascinating new work ... It is a vividly detailed, highly readableaccount of the actual cultures of the classes ... McKibbin is fascinating andinformative on home ownership.'Bernard Crick, Independent Saturday Magazine
'I am looking forward to reading Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 by Ross McKibbin (OUP, L25).' Richard Eyre, Financial Times weekend ed
'I am looking forward to reading Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951by Ross McKibbin (OUP, L25).'Richard Eyre, Financial Times weekend ed
'I am looking forward to reading Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 by Ross McKibbin (OUP, L25).'Richard Eyre, Financial Times weekend ed
'important study ... Every page of this book scintillates, combining high scholarship, understated argument and droll humour.'Ben Pimlott, New Statesman and Society
'important study ... Every page of this book scintillates, combining highscholarship, understated argument and droll humour.'Ben Pimlott, New Statesman and Society
'McKibbin is excellent on matters as diverse as "ribbon development" in interwar housing, the different forms of male and female sociability in the working class, the impact of Hollywood films, the nature and appeal of betting, and much else besides.'Stefan Collini, TLS website
'McKibbin is excellent on matters as diverse as "ribbon development" ininterwar housing, the different forms of male and female sociability in theworking class, the impact of Hollywood films, the nature and appeal of betting,and much else besides.'Stefan Collini, TLS website
mordantly witty Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 (OUP L25) side-steps high politics in order to unpick the threads of the British class system, richly mixing statistics and evidence drawn from mass literature. Ben Pilmot/Ind. on Sunday/29/11/98 Culture (Page 2)
mordantly witty Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 (OUP L25)side-steps high politics in order to unpick the threads of the British classsystem, richly mixing statistics and evidence drawn from mass literature. BenPilmot/Ind. on Sunday/29/11/98 Culture (Page 2)
'Ross McKibbin is one of the leading historians of twentieth century Britain. His work is an important reference point for those who wish to fully understand British politics and society in the first five decades or so of this century ... McKibbin presents his material well.'Contemporary British History, Vol.13, No.3, 1999.
Ross McKibbin's compassionate and detailed addition to the social history of Britain, C and C gave us humane scholarship at its very best./Lucasta Miller/ Ind. on Sunday/29/1//98 Culture (Page 2)
Ross McKibbin's compassionate and detailed addition to the social historyof Britain, C and C gave us humane scholarship at its very best./Lucasta Miller/Ind. on Sunday/29/1//98 Culture (Page 2)
'the implications of class culture for the period have never been spelled out so throroughly. The strength of this book lies in its detailed description of how class and culture interacted.'Harold L.Smith, American Historical Rev., Apr. 2000.
'the implications of class culture for the period have never been spelledout so throroughly. The strength of this book lies in its detailed descriptionof how class and culture interacted.'Harold L.Smith, American Historical Rev., Apr. 2000.
'There is much that is interesting in McKibbin's book; he has thought deeply about his subject and knows it intimately; his references are drawn from an impressively wide and rich cultural field.'Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph
'There is much that is interesting in McKibbin's book; he has thoughtdeeply about his subject and knows it intimately; his references are drawn froman impressively wide and rich cultural field.'Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph
1. The Upper Class: Honour and Wealth 2. The Middle Class (I) 3. The Middle Class (II) 4. The Working Class (I) 5. The Working Class (II) 6. Education and Mobility 7. Religion and Belief 8. Sexuality and Morality 9. The Sporting Life 10. Music for the People 11. The Cinema and the English 12. Listening In 13. The Community of Language 14. Conclusion Bibliography Index
'the implications of class culture for the period have never been spelled out so throroughly. The strength of this book lies in its detailed description of how class and culture interacted.''Harold L.Smith, American Historical Rev., Apr. 2000.'a work of major importance that will have to be taken seriously by anyone concerned with the role of class in twentieth-century England.''Harold L.Smith, American Historical Rev., Apr 2000.'Ross McKibbin is one of the leading historians of twentieth century Britain. His work is an important reference point for those who wish to fully understand British politics and society in the first five decades or so of this century ... McKibbin presents his material well.''Contemporary British History, Vol.13, No.3, 1999.'McKibbin is excellent on matters as diverse as "ribbon development" in interwar housing, the different forms of male and female sociability in the working class, the impact of Hollywood films, the nature and appeal of betting, and much else besides.''Stefan Collini, TLS websitemordantly witty Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 (OUP 25) side-steps high politics in order to unpick the threads of the British class system, richly mixing statistics and evidence drawn from mass literature. Ben Pilmot/Ind. on Sunday/29/11/98 Culture (Page 2)Ross McKibbin''s compassionate and detailed addition to the social history of Britain, C and C gave us humane scholarship at its very best./Lucasta Miller/ Ind. on Sunday/29/1//98 Culture (Page 2)'I am looking forward to reading Classes and Cultures: England 1918-1951 by Ross McKibbin (OUP, 25).''Richard Eyre, Financial Times weekend ed'There is much that is interesting in McKibbin''s book; he has thought deeply about his subject and knows it intimately; his references are drawn from an impressively wide and rich cultural field.''Philip Ziegler, Daily Telegraph'fascinating new work ... It is a vividly detailed, highly readable account of the actual cultures of the classes ... McKibbin is fascinating and informative on home ownership.''Bernard Crick, Independent Saturday Magazine'important study ... Every page of this book scintillates, combining high scholarship, understated argument and droll humour.''Ben Pimlott, New Statesman & Society'...a detailed, thorough, well written and full account, which treats its subject fairly, and is well worth reading for anyone interested in the recent history of British culture and society.''Dave Renton. Socialist Review. October 1998.'absorbing book ... McKibbin''s is a compelling and stimulating analysis, full of fascinating detail shaped by the continuing relevance of the main themes, and impressive in the imagination and perception brought to the period. The style is characterstically trenchant and relentlessly analytical. The judgements on particular points of culture and social life are authoritative rather than derivative. It is written with humour, wit and sympathy; like some ofthe fiction he describes, the book is hard to put down. It is a splendid achievement.''R. C. Whiting, University of Leeds, EHR Sept 99'McKibbin''s understanding of class is more sophisticated than the fairly traditional divisions of his book might superficially suggest. McKibbin pays careful attention to the gendered nature of class belonging and is particularly illuminating in his exploration of the experience and consequences of role segregation in working-class communities. The strengths of Classes and Cultures are legion. McKibbin''s insights into the subtle workings of English societyare displayed at every turn... his observations about the influence of the United States on social life in Britain, scattered throughout the book, are more insightful than those of most other historians... his analysis of the Americanization of the spoken language in England, along with the ways in whichthis was experienced by men and women from different classes, is particularly illuminating.''Chris Waters, Twentieth Century British History, Vol.11 No.1
This item was reviewed in:
Choice, November 1998
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Summaries
Bowker Data Service Summary
In this book McKibbin investigates the ways in which class culture characterised English society and intruded every aspect of life, during the period 1918-1951. He also shows the increasing effects of Americanisation on this culture.
Long Description
In this fascinating study, Ross McKibbin exposes the fundamental structures and belief systems which underpinned English society in the first half of the twentieth century.
Long Description
Ross McKibbin investigates the ways in which 'class culture' characterized English society, and intruded into every aspect of life, during the period from 1918 to the mid-1950s. He demonstrates the influence of social class within the mini 'cultures' which together constitute society: families and family life, friends and neighbours, the workplace, schools and colleges, religion, sexuality, sport, music, film, and radio. Dr McKibbin considers the ways in which language was used (both spoken and written) to define one's social grouping, and how far changes occurred to language and culture more generally as a result of increasing American influence. He assesses the role of status and authority in English society, the social significance of the monarchy and the upper classes, the opportunities for social mobility, and the social and ideological foundations of English politics. In this fascinating study, Ross McKibbin exposes the fundamental structures and belief systems which underpinned English society in the first half of the twentieth century.
Main Description
Ross McKibbin investigates the ways in which 'class culture' characterized English society, and intruded into every aspect of life, during the period from 1918 to the mid-1950s. He demonstrates the influence of social class within the mini 'cultures' which together constitute society: familiesand family life, friends and neighbours, the workplace, schools and colleges, religion, sexuality, sport, music, film, and radio. Dr McKibbin considers the ways in which language was used (both spoken and written) to define one's social grouping, and how far changes occurred to language and culturemore generally as a result of increasing American influence. He assesses the role of status and authority in English society, the social significance of the monarchy and the upper classes, the opportunities for social mobility, and the social and ideological foundations of English politics. In thisfascinating study, Ross McKibbin exposes the fundamental structures and belief systems which underpinned English society in the first half of the twentieth century.
Table of Contents
The Upper Class: Honour and Wealth
The Middle Class (I)
The Middle Class (II)
The Working Class (I)
The Working Class (II)
Education and Mobility
Religion and Belief
Sexuality and Morality
The Sporting Life
Music for the People
The Cinema and the English
Listening In
The Community of Language
Conclusion
Bibliography
Index
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

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