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HIST 150: The French Revolution (Fall 2022)

What do they do?

An Annotated Bibliography provides a summary of a work, address:

  • the topic
  • the argument (not the same as a topic
  • the sources and or methods
  • how it differs from other works on the topic
  • was it convincing in supporting the argument?
    • what did it do well? what did it do poorly?


In Making of the English Working Class (1964), E.P. Thompson examines the development of working class identity in England between 1780-1832, arguing that "class" is neither a category nor a defined group, but rather a relationship and a process that exists between numerous groups within society. Making use of statistical records, as well as cultural materials produced by unionists, luddite activists, and Methodist churches,  Thompson differs from earlier historians by arguing that there are many “working classes,” each of which predate the late nineteenth-century development of a shared working class political identity. Thompson supports his arguments with previously archival sources and provides exhaustive examples, and his work remains a landmark study. A potential critique of his work is his romanticization of the groups his studies, and the exclusion of non-artisan working groups that do not fall within his definition of working class. Overall, an important and useful study.