The focus of this unique comparative study is on political radicalism at its high point around the middle of the nineteenth century, but broad topics such as trade unionism, co-operation, socialism, and religion are also examined in depth. The author argues that French and English radicalism did not stem directly from or reflect work and workplace relations, but instead drew upon work groups and organisations, material concerns, or social and religious groups. Radicalism, it is argued, was part of everyday social life, the daily concerns of which affected its practice - though usually not its programmes. Radicalism was also characterised by cultural diversity, although actual forms of organisation and action usually depended strongly upon the political context and strategic choices. The book also offers reinterpretations of specific developments and actions in both countries.
'... its depth of coverage and analytical subtlety make it an essential study of radicalism and the broader development of nineteenth-century politics.' Economic History Review