Chartism after 1848, The Working Class and the Politics of Radical Education, by Keith Flett
Published by Merlin Press in 2006, 221 pages. Paperback (N2897)
Brand New Book
Based on original research, this book is an excellent study of the campaign for political and social democracy and for workers education in the period after 1848.
The book examines independent working-class radical education and politics in England from the year of revolutions, 1848, to the passage of the 1870 Education Act, and argues that radical ideas and radical working-class education and schools, far from disappearing with the demise of popular chartism after 1848, in fact flourished.
The main source used is the late Chartist and radical working-class press focusing on radical meetings and events and the ideas that informed them. The introductory chapter situates the research in its theoretical, historical and particularly chronological context, the following three chapters consider the events of 1848 and how these influenced working-class ideas and education. The experience of radicals in the period after 1848 is then considered, as support for Chartism declined and as Chartist ideas moved further to the left. Two chapters look at the later 1850s and the little discussed educational strategy for political change put forward by G.J. Holyoake and opposed by W.E Adams, and the two final chapters consider the development of radical education in the post-Chartist period of the 1860s
Reviewers of the book wrote: A well-researched and ably-written study that reflects well on Keith Flett's passion for working-class history and assiduousness in tackling many contemporary sources, especially the late Chartist and radical working-class press. An excellently researched book that is a valuable addition to the literature on Chartism