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Common WritingEssays on Literary Culture and Public Debate$
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Stefan Collini

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198758969

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198758969.001.0001

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J. L. and Barbara Hammond, R. H. Tawney, Richard Hoggart, R. M. Titmuss

(p.180) (p.181) 8 Moralists
Common Writing

Stefan Collini

Oxford University Press

Britain has had a strong tradition of ethical social criticism. This chapter examines the work of four twentieth-century examples: the Hammonds’ radical histories of the Industrial Revolution and its consequences; Tawney’s moral indictment of capitalism and its history; Hoggart’s championing of working-class virtues of community and solidarity; and Titmuss’s commitment to the altruistic ethic embodied in health and welfare provision. In each case, biography is used to throw light on the development of their views and their literary careers. Particular attention is given to questions of social class, both in the subjects’ own careers and in their respective analyses of British society.

Keywords:   J. L. and Barbara Hammond, R. H. Tawney, Richard Hoggart, R. M. Titmuss, Industrial Revolution, popular history, social criticism, ethical Socialism, welfare, biography

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