“The foulest damage to our political life comes not

from the ‘secrets’ which they hide from us, but from the little bits of half-truth and disinformation which they do tell us. These are already pre-digested, and then are sicked up as little gobbits of authorised spew.

The columns of defense correspondents in the establishment sheets serve as the spittoons.”

–E.P Thompson

 

E.P Thompson was a British writer, historian and a socialist campaigner. He is best known for this historical work on British radical movements in the early 18th and 19th centuries. His work mostly focused on labour and social histories, and is widely studied as a part of social histories and subaltern histories in universities worldwide. His 1963 work ‘The Making of the English Working Class’ is regarded as a prolific title in labour history curricula. This work also greatly influenced the post-World War II historiography.

E.P Thompson was a prominent figure in the leftist circles in Britain and he joined the British communist party after his university years at Cambridge. His Marxist leanings resulted in him leading the British New left in the 1950s. In this role, he devoted himself to organizing at the grass-roots. Even though he had his differences with the British Communist Party – which he broke away from – he remained dedicated to the left and founded The New Left Review.

E.P Thompson is a noteworthy historian and his ideas about the working class, class-consciousness and the effects of the new industrial factory system gave a new identity to the 19th Century workers. His ideas are extremely important in Marxist historiography and are widely studied in the west and otherwise.