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The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists Paperback – August 24, 2002
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From the Publisher
'Some books seem to batter their way to immortality against all the odds, by sheer brute artistic strength, and high up in this curious and honourable company must be counted The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Robert Tressell's unfailing humour mixes with an unfailing rage and the two together make a truly Swiftian impact.' - MICHAEL FOOT, Evening Standard
'The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a wonderful book. Its wonder comes from the raciness of its story and the passionate ethics that emerge.' - City Limits
'Robert Tressell has complete familiarity with the idiom of his characters. His language is bizarre, vital, highly inventive and precisely heard - it is a complete and living archaeology of the speech of a particular human group. A brilliant and very funny book.' - Spectator
'A torch to pass from generation to generation.' TONY BENN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
No Happy Endings here - it could never be a Hollywood film. The bitterness and pain you feel at the end leaves you wanting to change the world. To fight those forces ranged against the underdog. Even though you'll probably lose.
Seen in that light it feels as relevant today as it was when it was written.
I was given the book by a much older friend. I've now bought copies for half-a-dozen people. It's one of those books you just should read to be an all-rounded person.
This attitude prevails today, as it did in the early part of the 20th century, in that the majority of the British working class still insist that poverty, and inequality are caused by the drunken, the lazy unemployed, lone parents asylem seekers, and cheap foreign imports. As this attitude is encouraged by media propaganda, in a similar manner as those who benefit from the system in Tressell's book, then the working classes of post modern Britain remain just as intrasegent and ignorant as ever, the majority seeing edication as irrelevant to to them.
One aspect of the book that I am grateful to Tressel for is the way he highlighted the conditions of women in working class Britain in the early 20th century. By doing this Tressell gives credibility to the feminist movement, and its achievements so far.
While he takes us on a tour of the 19th century working class, Tressell makes a heartfelt plea for people to embrace socialism and to strive to make it our system of government. His simple examples of how it could work, and his examples of how capitalism is flawed are excellent and thought-provoking. I don't know whether Tressell's socialism could work in modern britain, but I think it offered a better life for the working classes of the 19th Century.
Terry Pratchett, often extols the power of narrative for getting a point across and Tressell's 'Ragged Trousered Philanthropists' is a prime example of how powerful it can be. It's partly the inspiration for expressing my own world view in my 'Deathsworn Arc' fantasy series.
All in all, anyone interested in political history should read this book. It's enjoyable and informative to the last.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
Written 100 years ago and sadly still relevant. Fabulous book that should be read in school. I wish I'd read it years ago. I'm giving it to all my kids to read as they get older. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Karen Prior
This book illustrates perfectly what Cameron and his Bullingdon bullies are doing to Britain. Completing Thatchers work to get the country back to those good ole Victorian days. Read morePublished 2 months ago by !80paul
A absolute classic. A must read for anyone with a social conscience.Published 3 months ago by Charles Robinson
a lot going on with the characters. Like an early edition of Animal Farm.Published 4 months ago by Joe
An amazing book well worth reading, though rather too long.Published 4 months ago by Michael G Tutty
As a boy I lived not so far from Hastings where this book takes place. My grandfather in 1911, the year of this book was a bricklayer and I fancy was a contempory of the men in... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Epicurus