Now in its second edition, this landmark book provides an intellectual history of the British working classes from the preindustrial era to the twentieth century. Drawing on workers' memoirs, social surveys, library registers, and more, Jonathan Rose discovers which books people read, how they educated themselves, and what they knew. A new preface uncovers the author's journey into labor history, and its rewarding link to intellectual history.
Jonathan Rose is the founder and past president of the Society for the History of Authorship, Reading and Publishing and coeditor of the journal Book History. He is professor of history at Drew University, where he directs the graduate program in book history.