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The Luddite Rebellion Hardcover – November 1, 1998

2.5 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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About the Author

Brian Bailey is a full-time writer who has published over twenty books in addition to many articles on art, architecture, and landscape.


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (November 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814713351
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814713358
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,171,897 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Format: Hardcover
The term, "Luddite", is one that is invoked, at present, when rapid and momentous changes in technology are discussed. It also is often misused, Brian Bailey has written, "The Luddite Rebellion", in a concise history that gives historical substance and related facts to the term. Taken in its entirety I very much enjoyed the work, and it appears from the notes to be well documented. The Author is also scrupulous in pointing out when he switches from known fact to his interpretation or personal opinion. It was amongst these opinions that I found the only fault with the work. The Author's views stated as opinion and based upon documentary fact are fine. However at times he made very clear where his sympathies lay, and it was these moments the cadence of the book was broken, as well as confidence in pure objectivity.
Violence against machinery that escalated to the death of those on both sides of the issue is really a tragic story. The legal reforms that the Prince Regent answered the protesters with were inept, and unjustifiably extreme. This Prince was the Son of the King who amongst other events was known for, "The Madness Of King George". The stupidity of The Regent's actions was consistent with the madness of the Father. Lord Byron gave the most eloquent condemnation and summation of the underlying issues during his maiden speech in the House of Lords. Happily for the reader the speech is reproduced in its entirety as an appendix to the book.
While the book focuses primarily on a brief time span and a few counties in the early part of the 19th Century, the issues that drove these groups to violence are both much older and continue to the present.
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Format: Hardcover
Brian J. Bailey's The Luddite Rebellion, it seems now, was doomed from the start. The tale of the Luddites, those impoverished English hosiery workers who smashed machines in the 1800s, does not merit a whole book. The primary material on the topic is quickly exhuasted, and what is left are drawn-out discussions on whether the machine-smashers were politically motivated or not, and the ins and outs of a few insignificant trials. In addition, Bailey's more emotional outbursts against capitalist exploitation only detract from the seriousness of the work.
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