In An Irish Working Class, Marilyn Silverman explores the dynamics of capitalism, colonialism, and state formation through an examination of the political economy and culture of those who contributed their labour. Stemming from the author's academic research on Ireland for over two decades, the book combines archival data, interviews, and participant observation to create a unique and intricate study of labourers' lives in Thomastown, County Kilkenny, between 1800 and 1950. Political anthropology, Gramscian approaches to hegemony, and the work of social historians on class experience all inform Silverman's perspective in this volume. Silverman explores the complex and changing consciousness, politics, and social relations of a cross-section of workers. These workers were employed in the mills, tanneries, artisanal shops, and retail outlets, and on the landed estates, farms, and public works projects which typified this highly differentiated locality. In constructing the social history of workers in a particular place over time, An Irish Working Class makes an important contribution to Irish Studies, European historical ethnography, and the anthropology of working-class life.