The Making of EP Thompson: family, anti-fascism and the 1930s

Scott Hamilton

in The Crisis of Theory

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780719084355
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781702338 | DOI:
The Making of EP Thompson: family, anti-fascism and the 1930s

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This chapter discusses Edward Palmer Thompson's family. The British intelligentsia did not enjoy a great deal of institutional and cultural autonomy. The incompleteness of Edward John's radicalisation was reflected in the books he wrote during the 1920s. He showed his ambivalent, conflicted attitude towards Britain and its Empire by rejecting the political positions of the Quit India movement established by his friends Nehru and Gandhi. Both Frank and Edward Palmer Thompson were powerfully influenced by their parents' interests and attitudes. They soon came to share their father's great love of literature, as well as some of his political views. The chapter then draws together some of the threads of the stories of Edward John and Frank Thompson, and relates them to the story of Edward Palmer Thompson. Thompson's historiographical positions ultimately defer to moral and political arguments which he pursued outside as well as inside the discipline of history.

Keywords: Edward Palmer Thompson; British intelligentsia; Britain; Quit India movement; Frank Thompson; Edward John Thompson; anti-fascism; Empire

Chapter.  14069 words. 

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