The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
Robert Tressell, Tristram Hunt
‘A wonderful book’ George Orwell
Robert Tressell’s spirited attack on selfish capitalism is a masterpiece of wit and political passion and one of the most authentic novels of English working class life ever written.
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists tells the story of a group of working men who are joined one day by Frank Owen, a journeyman-prophet with a vision of a just society. Indicting the ‘philanthropy’ of the working class, who toil solely for the benefit of their masters, and initiating them into the secrets of the ‘Great Money Trick’ which alienates them from their labour, Owen’s attacks on the greed and dishonesty of the capitalist system rouse his fellow men from their political quietism.
With an Introduction by Tristram Hunt
‘Some books seem to batter their way to immortality against all odds, by sheer brute artistic strength, and high up in this curious and honourable company must be counted The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. Robert Tressell’s unfailing humour mixes with an unfailing rage and the two together make a truly Swiftian impact’
‘A brilliant and very funny book’
‘The first great English novel about the class war … witty, humourous, instinctive and full of excitement, harmony and pathos’
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