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A Girl’s Right to Have Fun

Susan Pedersen: Young Women at Work Between the Wars, 5 October 2006

Young Women, Work and Family in England 1918-50 
by Selina Todd.
Oxford, 272 pp., £50, September 2005, 0 19 928275 7
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... become purely descriptive. Can social historians offer meaningful explanations in their absence? Selina Todd’s book heartens me: seemingly a narrow study of young women’s working lives between the Great War and the early 1950s, the book is much more than that, and has important things to say about interwar economic change and the role such ...

Ruin it your own way

Susan Pedersen, 4 June 2020

Tastes of Honey: The Making of Shelagh Delaney and a Cultural Revolution 
by Selina Todd.
Chatto, 304 pp., £18.99, August 2019, 978 1 78474 082 5
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A Taste of Honey 
by Shelagh Delaney.
Methuen, 112 pp., £14.44, November 2019, 978 1 350 13495 9
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... what no one should do without. ‘It’s your life,’ she tells her. ‘Ruin it your own way.’Selina Todd’s biography of Delaney does two things well. It helps us understand how someone the press insisted on calling a ‘Salford teenager’ was able to create this remarkable work – and it shows how hard the people who brought the play to stage ...

Wall in the Head

Carolyn Steedman: On Respectability, 28 July 2016

Respectable: The Experience of Class 
by Lynsey Hanley.
Allen Lane, 240 pp., £16.99, April 2016, 978 1 84614 206 2
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... present, and with modern historians of class and social mobility. She has a careful argument with Selina Todd, whose book The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class 1910-2010 was published in 2014, over the proposition that in the absence of any programme for ending economic inequality, ‘race’ has become the only legitimate means by which ...

What’s Missing

Katrina Navickas: Tawney, Polanyi, Thompson, 11 October 2018

The Moral Economists: R.H. Tawney, Karl Polanyi, E.P. Thompson and the Critique of Capitalism 
by Tim Rogan.
Princeton, 263 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 691 17300 9
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... inequality that Rogan finds inadequate. Historians who derive inspiration from Thompson, notably Selina Todd, author of The People: The Rise and Fall of the Working Class, 1910-2010 (2014), formulate their notions of class from the perspective of individual experience and identity. The poststructuralist turn of the late 1980s in academic history ...

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