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The Condition of the Working Class in England

Friedrich Engels

Book Overview: 

This is Engels' first book (since considered a classic account of England's working class in the industrial age), which argues that workers paid a heavy price for the industrial revolution that swept the country. Engels wrote the piece while staying in Manchester from 1842 to 1844, based on the his observations and several contemporary reports conducted over the period.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .mmon to both quarters, and in the district now under discussion, another feature most injurious to the cleanliness of the inhabitants, is the multitude of pigs walking about in all p. 53the alleys, rooting into the offal heaps, or kept imprisoned in small pens.  Here, as in most of the working-men’s quarters of Manchester, the pork-raisers rent the courts and build pig-pens in them.  In almost every court one or even several such pens may be found, into which the inhabitants of the court throw all refuse and offal, whence the swine grow fat; and the atmosphere, confined on all four sides, is utterly corrupted by putrefying animal and vegetable substances.  Through this quarter, a broad and measurably decent street has been cut, Millers Street, and the background has been pretty successfully concealed.  But if any one should be led by curiosity to pass through one of the numerous passages which lead into the courts, he will find this piggery repe. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I must say upfront I detest Marxist-Leninism in its 20th century form and the post-modern left with their support for terrorism, Islamism , Jew/Israel-hatred, dictatorship and anti-white racism. Though I am a democratic socialist in the tradition of
Aneurin Bevan and Harold Wilson . But this book...more

This started off as being the foulest piece of drudgery that I had ever cast my eyes upon. Engels is a very wordy man, and once he gets going he’s like a steam train in motion. But once we get past the gruelling first chapter, in which he lists all the different types of fabrics and methods of ma...more

Excellent work on Industrial Revolution, but it does contain racist ugly filth about the Irish.

The only reason I don't give this book five stars is that a good part of it is filled with a detailed account of the very thing it is supposed to be about - the awful condition of the workers. How can that be a liability? It is because you don't need to know all the details in 2011.

You can get an...more

A harrowing and frightening book. Some things really have not changed over the past two centuries.

A grisly tour of the slums of the factory towns of the Industrial Revolution. Engels, an angry young man, details the blackened suffering of the workers there, their ignorance, poverty, sickness. I r...more

دوستانِ گرانقدر، <فریدریش انگلس> در این کتاب، پژوهش هایِ همه جانبه ای از شرایطِ کار و زندگی پرولتاریا (کارگران-کشاورزان) بر اساسِ شیوهٔ تولیدِ سرمایه داری ارائه داده است... وی تضادهایِ نظامِ سرمایه داری را موردِ بررسی قرار داده و نشان داده است که چگونه قوانینِ ذاتیِ این نظام و وضعیتِ اقتصاد...more

I’ve read bits of this before, but never the whole thing. In part, you probably wouldn’t read this now, because Marx covers a lot of the same ground in the first volume of Capital - and the stuff here is perhaps what many people would use to say, ‘at least Capitalism isn’t as bad as it was back t...more

Engels' study of the working class in Manchester in the 19th century. Personally, Engels was the hero not Marx - and is also the more accessible writer. This is a fascinating account of what it was to be working class at that time. It is a classic of whatever genre you wish to ascribe it to, very...more

Sobering look into the lives of people during the industrial revolution. It's very apparent why communism was started given the situations the people had to endure. Class warfare on an extreme scale compared to what it's like nowadays.

Maps
Introduction, by Tristram Hunt
To the Working Classes of Great Britain
Preface to the First German Edition
Preface to the English Edition

--The Condition of the Working Class in England

Epilogue, by Victor Kiernan
Chronology
Further Reading
Index

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