Labor History and the Labor Movement

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Labor History and the Labor MovementWorkers: Worlds of Labor by Eric Hobsbawm; Languages of Class: Studies in English WorkingClass History, 1832-1982 by Gareth Stedman Jones; The Working Class in Modern BritishHistory: Essays in Honour of Henry Pelling by Jay Winter; Labour and Socialism: A Historyof the British Labour Movement, 1867-1974 by James Hinton; Poor Labouring Men: RuralRadicalism in Norfolk, 1870-1923 by Alun HowkinsReview by: Jeffrey CoxJournal of British Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Apr., 1986), pp. 233-241Published by: Cambridge University Press on behalf of The North American Conference on BritishStudiesStable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/175650 .Accessed: 08/05/2014 21:00Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of the Terms & Conditions of Use, available at .http://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsp .JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range ofcontent in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new formsof scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact support@jstor.org. .Cambridge University Press and The North American Conference on British Studies are collaborating withJSTOR to digitize, preserve and extend access to Journal of British Studies.http://www.jstor.org This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=cuphttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=nacbshttp://www.jstor.org/action/showPublisher?publisherCode=nacbshttp://www.jstor.org/stable/175650?origin=JSTOR-pdfhttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jsphttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspbook might be forthcoming under the aegis of the Urban History Coun- cil. Both the early modern town and the Victorian city have much mileage left in them yet, and the hares set running in the works consid- ered here will keep scholars well occupied. The real virgin territory is, of course, the twentieth-century city, with whatever models of counterurbanization et cetera we need to understand it. The planning historians have led the way, and suburbia has already been visited. Yet the twentieth-century conurbations have much yet to tell us about those diverse issues that are the current concerns of social historians: the role of women and families; employment and, with sharper contem- porary focus, unemployment; trade unionism and work practices; oc- cupations and social mobility; leisure pursuits; and the diversity of a multicultural society. And outside the academic walls urban historians should not ignore the interests of the wider citizen community. Perhaps the most compelling social justification for urban history remains the explanation and understanding of the townscapes in which people live and work today. DEREK FRASER Department of Education and Science, Leeds Labor History and the Labor Movement Workers: Worlds of Labor. By ERIC HOBSBAWM. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. Pp. xi+369. $11.95 (paper). Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History, 1832- 1982. By GARETH STEDMAN JONES. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer- sity Press, 1983. Pp. viii+260. $39.50 (cloth); $11.95 (paper). The Working Class in Modern British History: Essays in Honour of Henry Pelling. Edited by JAY WINTER. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni- versity Press, 1983. Pp. xii+315. $39.50 (cloth). Labour and Socialism: A History of the British Labour Movement, 1867- 1974. By JAMES HINTON. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1983. Pp. ix+212. $22.00 (cloth). Poor Labouring Men: Rural Radicalism in Norfolk, 1870-1923. By ALUN HOWKINS. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. Pp. xiv + 225. $14.95 (paper). book might be forthcoming under the aegis of the Urban History Coun- cil. Both the early modern town and the Victorian city have much mileage left in them yet, and the hares set running in the works consid- ered here will keep scholars well occupied. The real virgin territory is, of course, the twentieth-century city, with whatever models of counterurbanization et cetera we need to understand it. The planning historians have led the way, and suburbia has already been visited. Yet the twentieth-century conurbations have much yet to tell us about those diverse issues that are the current concerns of social historians: the role of women and families; employment and, with sharper contem- porary focus, unemployment; trade unionism and work practices; oc- cupations and social mobility; leisure pursuits; and the diversity of a multicultural society. And outside the academic walls urban historians should not ignore the interests of the wider citizen community. Perhaps the most compelling social justification for urban history remains the explanation and understanding of the townscapes in which people live and work today. DEREK FRASER Department of Education and Science, Leeds Labor History and the Labor Movement Workers: Worlds of Labor. By ERIC HOBSBAWM. New York: Pantheon Books, 1984. Pp. xi+369. $11.95 (paper). Languages of Class: Studies in English Working Class History, 1832- 1982. By GARETH STEDMAN JONES. Cambridge: Cambridge Univer- sity Press, 1983. Pp. viii+260. $39.50 (cloth); $11.95 (paper). The Working Class in Modern British History: Essays in Honour of Henry Pelling. Edited by JAY WINTER. Cambridge: Cambridge Uni- versity Press, 1983. Pp. xii+315. $39.50 (cloth). Labour and Socialism: A History of the British Labour Movement, 1867- 1974. By JAMES HINTON. Amherst: University of Massachusetts Press, 1983. Pp. ix+212. $22.00 (cloth). Poor Labouring Men: Rural Radicalism in Norfolk, 1870-1923. By ALUN HOWKINS. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul, 1985. Pp. xiv + 225. $14.95 (paper). REVIEWS REVIEWS 233 233 This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspBritish labor history is one of the success stories of recent histor- ical scholarship. Since the late forties, when the discipline was domi- nated by institutional histories of unions and political organizations, labor historians have become social historians too and have placed those institutions in their social and cultural context. Alun Howkins explains how "talking to the old men and women who had worked the land of Norfolk in the latter part of the period ... altered my approach to the subject from being a 'labour historian' to being, I hope, a histo- rian of the Norfolk labourer" (p. xii). In perhaps no other field, cer- tainly not in the history of the family, of the city, of religion, or of population, has the social historian's ambition to write "total history" produced such impressive results as those to be found in Howkins's book and the others under review. At the same time there is evident in these books a sense of crisis. The assumptions that have guided labor historians of the last genera- tion, and indeed of all previous generations, are no longer persuasive. Most labor historians have had some kind of political commitment to or emotional sympathy with an abstraction known as "the labor move- ment." Belief in the existence of a "labor movement" encompassing socialist intellectuals, unions, and the Labour party and the assump- tion that this movement was becoming more important during the course of industrialization have provided an intelligible general framework for the details of local labor and social history. Faith in the existence of this abstraction extends far beyond the relatively small group of Marxists for whom it takes a well-defined and theoretically coherent form. "The rise of the labor movement," like "modernization" or "secularization," guides the thought of many peo- ple with no formal allegiance to social theory and, consequently, of many historians who are not Marxists. The concept is part of the language that people use to understand British history in the same way that people use the language of class to make sense of British society. The sense of crisis comes from the inability to take the rise of the labor movement for granted anymore, and it takes two forms. There are those historians who now dismiss the belief in a unified growing labor movement as, in Gareth Stedman Jones's words, "something of an optical illusion" (p. 243). There are others, like Eric Hobsbawm, who believe that the study of British labor history confirms the hy- pothesis that a unified labor movement existed and was becoming more important in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The difficulty for him and other socialist historians is that they are per- suaded that this march through history has reached the end of the road, that "the great class movements of the classical era of mass socialist workers' parties have not very successfully survived the extraordinary economic, social, and cultural transformations of the 1950s and 1960s" (p. 80). Labor's forward march, Hobsbawm fears, has halted with the disintegration of the proletariat under conditions of capitalist affluence, 234 REVIEWS This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspand the consequences of that halt for the socialist belief in labor's ultimate victory are depressing and debilitating. Hobsbawm's seventeen readable essays, written mostly in the 1970s or early 1980s, cover a wide variety of topics. His pessimism about the labor movement's future is balanced by his optimistic con- viction that the emergence of unions and socialist political parties in western Europe between 1870 and 1930 more or less confirms the broad outlines, if not the specific predictions, of Marx's view of the future. Hobsbawm pioneered the writing of the history of the connec- tions between working-class life and culture, on the one hand, and working-class industrial and political institutions, on the other, and demonstrated that a Marxist need not be a vulgar Marxist. He accepts the wisdom and accuracy of many of the generalizations about the working class that are confidently cited by anti-Marxist historians as "refutations" of Marxism. Hobsbawm's working class is socially con- servative, willing to take advantage of social mobility, internally di- vided along lines of ethnicity, religion, skill, and "respectability," and usually a bulwark against revolution. Nevertheless, he insists that working people in capitalist societies have common interests, that in the right circumstances they may con- stitute a "class" in the Marxist sense, and that in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the European working class, through its support for unions and socialist political parties, provided a historical challenge to the logic of capitalism and won some important victories in the process. This view is explicitly argued in his short essay "The Making of the Working Class, 1870-1914," which challenges E. P. Thompson's The Making of the English Working Class (New York, 1963) on materialistic grounds. "The hand-mill gives you society with the feudal lord," Marx argued, and "the steam mill, society with the industrial capitalist." Only large-scale industry organized on a national scale, Hobsbawm argues, can produce a society with a national, class- conscious working class. Since large-scale industry organized on a national scale appeared in Britain only after 1870, Thompson must be wrong to identify the years before 1832 as the crucial ones in the making of the English working class. Before dismissing the argument in this outline form, read Hobs- bawm's essays, for he is particularly good at assembling evidence from the details of working-class life during this period. For instance, he cites the case of W. P. Richardson (1873-1930), a collier of Usworth, County Durham, Usworth parish councillor, director of the Usworth Colliery Primitive Methodist chapel choir, and author of a column on poultry for the local newspaper. Here is a man whose life was full of purely local concerns, a man of whom "it is safe to say that if, say, Manchester had been wiped out by an earthquake, it would have made no practical difference to him" (p. 199). Why should this Durham miner, whose predecessors had little or no concern for the miners of 235 REVIEWS This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspSouth Wales or even of Yorkshire, become a founder of the local Independent Labour party branch, a member of the board of the Daily Herald, a champion of the nationalization of all mines, and a national treasurer of the Miner's Federation? Those who believe that the rise of the working class is an "optical illusion" have a great deal of evidence to explain away. Why should working people all over Britain adopt the cloth cap as a class symbol between 1870 and 1914? The spread of fish and chips shops (there were 25,000 people employed as "fish fryers" in 1914), the emergence of working-class seaside resorts, the growth of professional football, and the popularity of the music hall become, in his hands, the raw material of class consciousness rather than evidence of social conservatism. His great weakness is an evident lack of curiosity about possible nonmaterialistic explanations. His essay "Man and Woman: Images on the Left" explains the very interesting replacement of women by men in labor and socialist iconography in the nineteenth century as a conse- quence of changes in the structure of industry and of work. The evi- dence, as usual, is marshaled with great care and skill and cleverness, but the possibility of other explanations does not enter his argument. His essay "Religion and the Rise of Socialism" assumes that religion is doomed to inevitable decline and decay in the modern world because of the underlying changes in the economy. Capitalist development "causes" modernization, which in turn "causes" secularization. Al- though willing to examine the uneven progress of secularization with some interest, he is unwilling to question the basic metaphor. It is not so much Hobsbawm's historical materialism that is trou- bling as his failure to address alternative explanations that might occur to his readers and an unwillingness to respond directly to the rising tide of skepticism about his kind of history. His essay "Labour History and Ideology" simply fails to address the concerns of Gareth Stedman Jones, who is certainly speaking for others when he argues that "the 'halting' of the 'forward march of labour' suggests a need not simply to examine 'the halting', but also to question the metaphor itself" (p. 1). What is being questioned by Stedman Jones and other labor historians is not merely the existence of "the labor movement" but the usefulness of the concept of "ideology" as a term used to link attitudes and beliefs, on the one hand, with the material conditions of particular social groups, on the other, a concept that has been at the heart of both labor history and social history. Stedman Jones has arranged his five essays in historical order, dealing first with mid-Victorian history in a review essay of John Fos- ter's Class Struggle and the Industrial Revolution (London, 1974) and essays on social control and Chartism. He then moves on to working- class culture in late nineteenth-century London and, finally, to the current problems of the Labour party. But the book makes very little sense as a collection of essays unless the essays are read in the order in 236 REVIEWS This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspwhich they were written, for the evolution of his thought is at least as interesting as his topics. He provides a helpful introductory explana- tion of how he has changed his mind since 1974 and how those changes are reflected in his essays. Stedman Jones gives us a twentieth-century socialist version of the Victorian crisis of faith. Beginning as a historical materialist who attempts to root the social conservatism of the late nineteenth-century London working class in the material conditions of their life, he ends by applying "a non-referential conception of language to the study of Chartist speeches and writings" (p. 21). On the way he abandons the attempt "to explain the gulf between the predictions of the Marxist explanatory model and the actual assumptions which appear to have guided the activities of the groups of workers with whom I was con- cerned" and begins instead to treat class "as a discursive rather than as an ontological reality, the central effort being to explain languages of class from the nature of politics rather than the character of politics from the nature of class" (p. 8). He rejects a concept of ideology as "inert and unilluminatingly reductive" (p. 18). At times he appears to give "language" the autonomous, causa- tive role that social historians and labor historians have previously given to "economics" or "social structure," arguing, for instance, that "political discourses are addressed to particular constituencies, indeed at certain formative turning points are able to constitute or reconstitute such constituencies" (p. 23). But he draws back from this extreme view in his actual analysis of Chartism, arguing that "it is not a ques- tion of replacing a social interpretation by a linguistic interpretation, but rather it is how the two relate, that must be rethought" (p. 95). Stedman Jones's most important contribution is his willingness to listen to and accept at face value the political argument the Chartists were making. The goals of the working-class movement (and he ac- cepts that Chartism was in some sense a working-class movement) were entirely political, he argues. Furthermore, our failure to under- stand Chartist language is not mere sloppiness but a consequence of theoretical error, of unthinking acceptance of the concept of ideology. Politics was not a means to some social or economic goal, nor was the language of politics a "mere shell within which class movement devel- oped" (p. 95). He has abandoned the attempt, which he regards as distorting as well as patronizing, to decide whether a particular ideol- ogy is in some way "appropriate" to a particular social group. Finally, he argues that the decline of Chartism had little to do with changes in the economy and everything to do with changes in the nature of the state in the 1840s. All this is valuable and interesting, but there is still a good deal that needs to be sorted out in the basic argument. Unwilling to abandon materialism completely and concentrate on an analysis of systems of language without any reference to their social context, he insists that REVIEWS 237 This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspREVIEWS Chartism is still in some way rooted in a working class. Only parts of his analysis are in fact "nonreferential," but he gives us no clear model to replace the old base/superstructure model. This confusion has seri- ous consequences in his essay "Why Is the Labour Party in a Mess?" He begins by arguing against any continuity whatsoever in the history of the Labour party, which he sees as a kind of vacant institutional space that has been occupied at different times by groups of middle- class professionals, trade-union leaders, and opportunistic politicians. But some sort of continuity is clearly there, primarily in the language of class and of "the labor movement," which he dismisses as "an optical illusion." Socialist activists would never have been able to "consti- tute" a constituency for such language if it had not been rooted in some way in the actual experiences of working people, just as the language of Chartism was rooted in some undefined way in the actual experience of exclusion from political power of working people in the 1830s and 1840s. He views Labour's success in the 1940s as the consequence of a temporary coalition of paternalistic middle-class professionals and union leaders who could unite around the traditional language of class. But this coalition has disintegrated under the impact of affluence, the welfare state, and consumer capitalism in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He appears to return to a kind of social determinism with the argument that a unified, blue-collar working class once existed and provided the "core" of support for the Labour party. With the disintegration of this "core" since World War II and the parallel erosion of the ethic of service among the paternalistic middle-class professionals, the old lan- guage and structure of the party have become obsolete. It is true, as Stedman Jones argues, that the political success or failure of the people who use the socialist language of class in politics is a question of historical circumstances and sometimes even of sheer accident. The rise of the service sectors of the economy, the growing participation of women in the labor force, and the success of consumer capitalism have produced an entirely new kind of working class that is divided, difficult to organize, and susceptible to conservative political argument. But it is also true that working people in modern Britain and other capitalist nations bear a much greater share of the burden of economic change than people who invest for a living do. Capitalism's problems have not gone away, and until they do there will be prospects for class-based politics. It is by no means clear, as Stedman Jones believes, that the only hope for the Labour party is to abandon al- together the traditional socialist political usage of "the working class" or "the labor movement." Nor is it obvious that the only way forward for the Labour party lies in abolishing the trade-union bloc vote in order to open up the party to new constituencies. Stedman Jones's distaste for relatively affluent blue-collar workers and their sectional wage militancy leads him to 238 This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspdismiss Britain's unions as inflexible dinosaurs standing in the path of socialist progress. For all their considerable unpopularity, trade unions are among Britain's most democratic institutions, and they now repre- sent nearly half the work force. Younger union leaders are working hard to make them more democratic and responsive to the needs of women, blacks, and low-paid workers, many of them in the public sector. Whatever serious problems may arise from the influence of trade unions in the Labour party, they have served as a valuable bul- wark against middle-class intellectuals who wish to project their own visions of how the working class should behave onto the party. The essays published in honor of Henry Pelling cover an even wider range of topics than those of Hobsbawm do. Two things hold the collection together. The first is the influence of Pelling's own revision- ist research agenda. Jay Winter praises him in the introduction for having "shown that it is possible to write about the past of organized labour without adopting a plebeian version of the Whig interpretation of history through which we see the struggles of the past moving inex- orably to the victories of the present" (p. x). The essays that follow continue the struggle to clear away political myths. We learn, for in- stance, that constituency Labour parties of the 1920s might reasonably be described as dominated by nonentities (Christopher Howard); that there was no Victorian aristocracy of labor, only a monolithically con- servative Victorian working class (Alastair Reid); that workers in the 1930s did not perceive the social structure in terms of power relation- ships (Arthur Marwick); that unemployment does not necessarily make infant mortality worse (Jay Winter); and that workers did not particu- larly want the welfare reforms proposed in the Beveridge Report (Paul Johnson). Only Kenneth O. Morgan flies the socialist flag high in this collection as he demonstrates, in "Post-war Reconstruction in Wales, 1918-1945," that the promises set out in Aneurin Bevan's Why Not Trust the Tories in 1944 were largely kept by the postwar government, at least as far as Wales was concerned. Although the tone of the essays is one of skepticism about the forward march of the labor movement, the second thing that holds the collection together is the continuing strength of the concept of a unified labor movement encompassing socialist intellectuals, the Labour party, the unions, and the working class. The first section of the book includes essays about social theory and politics, the second section essays about working-class culture. Why should Partha Sarathi Gup- ta's essay "Imperialism and the Labour Government of 1945-1951" be placed in a collection of essays with Paul Johnson's "Credit and Thrift and the British Working Class, 1870-1939" unless one assumes that there has been a unified labor movement in Britain and that the doings of Labour politicians at the top are in some way related to the struggles of a working-class family to maintain respectability by resort to the pawnbroker? The skeptical historians who contributed to this collec- REVIEWS 239 This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspREVIEWS tion are just as committed, in their way, to the forward march of labor model as Eric Hobsbawm is, though they regard their task as one of qualification and revision rather than of confirmation. Peter Clarke's essay "The Social Democratic Theory of the Class Struggle" demonstrates the difficulties involved in escaping the basic assumption that socialism is in some way the ideology of the labor movement. He attempts to establish a centrist alternative to the social- ist view of the labor movement, one that could provide a useful lan- guage of class for the Social Democratic party. The resulting muddle stands in sharp contrast to the vigor of the writing in the books by James Hinton and Alun Howkins, who demonstrate that socialist his- tory is likely to weather the crisis in the discipline. Hinton's is less interesting and more predictable, but it is nonetheless useful to have available a basic, textbook level history of the British labor movement from a point of view well to the left of the Labour party. His commit- ment to shop-floor, rank-and-file class conflict puts him at a consider- able disadvantage when commenting on the actions of those who claim to be the national leaders of a labor movement. He regards the current crisis in the labor movement as a consequence of past mistakes by reformist trade-union leaders and opportunistic Labour party politi- cians, and the mistakes include almost every decision they have made. Had they regularly followed Hinton's consistently unrealistic advice, the Labour party would probably not exist at all today. But Hinton supplies a useful and in some ways refreshing alternative point of view for those of us whose lectures tend to follow along the traditional lines of the basic textbooks. Howkins shares with Hinton a strong socialist commitment to the working-class rank and file, but he is much more willing to distinguish good trade-union leaders from bad ones. He insists on the centrality of conflict and exploitation for the Norfolk agricultural laborers whose lives and culture he recreates with such skill, but his socialism and his historical materialism are combined with a great deal of sensitivity to and respect for their language and culture. His treatment of Primitive Methodism makes this an important contribution to the social history of religion. He is particularly good on the relationship between Primi- tive Methodism and trade unionism in the 1870s and 1880s, although his account of why Primitive Methodism became important to Norfolk laborers in the first place is marred by his dependence on sociologists and social theorists and a lack of familiarity with primary materials from the early and mid-nineteenth century. Liberalism and Nonconformity both played crucial roles in the formation of Norfolk agricultural trade unionism. The radical Eastern Weekly Press helped stimulate trade-union organizing in the 1870s, and the evangelical American hymns of Moody and Sankey became sym- bols of English class struggle. After the turn of the century the union was revived by Liberal political notables who needed a rural political 240 This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspcounterweight to Tory farmers and landowners. By 1906, however, the revived union and Primitive Methodism had grown apart for reasons that are not made entirely clear, and the union itself, virtually the creation of Liberal political figures, ejected its Liberal patrons in 1911 and went on to create the Labour party in Norfolk outside of Norwich. The greatest boost to the union came in 1917 with the establish- ment of wartime minimum wages. The elimination of wage boards after the war led to a bitter strike in 1923, the reestablishment of central government control of wages by the Labour government, and the in- stitutionalization of a centralized national union bureaucracy in Lon- don, one committed to legislative rather than industrial action. How- kins recognizes that the winning of a minimum wage is what agricultural laborers wanted most of all and that they achieved it only through national unions and national political organization. But he also regrets the loss of immediacy and spontaneity of the world of the chapel-centered union local and the lightning strike over grievances. His uncertainty strengthens the book, for it helps him give some sym- pathetic attention to both kinds of unionism. Those who do not accept Howkins's Marxist assumptions will find a good many grounds for skepticism when reading his book. But his embattled sense of being unfashionable in his insistence on the reality of exploitation contributes to the vigor of his writing and his rhetoric; his socialist commitment gives him sympathy with the exploited; and his genuine respect for the evidence and for the views of people with whom he disagrees helps make his arguments persuasive. Anyone in- terested in the history of ordinary English people during the last cen- tury will find this book absorbing and instructive. If he continues to write books like this one, labor history will thrive even if the labor movement comes to a halt. The success of labor history and the con- tinuing persuasiveness of socialist discourse may be evidence that the labor movement is in transition rather than fatal decline. JEFFREY COX University of Iowa REVIEWS 241 This content downloaded from 169.229.32.137 on Thu, 8 May 2014 21:00:57 PMAll use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditionshttp://www.jstor.org/page/info/about/policies/terms.jspArticle Contentsp. 233p. 234p. 235p. 236p. 237p. 238p. 239p. 240p. 241Issue Table of ContentsJournal of British Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Apr., 1986), pp. 131-241Front MatterA Possession of One's Own: Women and Consumer Behavior in England, 1660-1740 [pp. 131 - 156]English Noblemen and Their Advisers: Consultation and Collaboration in the Later Middle Ages [pp. 157 - 177]The Selling of Newton: Science and Technology in Early Eighteenth-Century England [pp. 178 - 192]Custom, Conflict, and Traditional Authority in the Gloucester Weaver Strike of 1825 [pp. 193 - 226]ReviewsThe Pied Piper and the Magpie: Current Work in Urban History [pp. 227 - 233]Labor History and the Labor Movement [pp. 233 - 241]Back Matter