The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain

By McCulloch, Andrew | Capital & Class, Autumn 2002 | Go to article overview

The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain


McCulloch, Andrew, Capital & Class


David Cannadine The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain Columbia University Press, 2000. pp 320 ISBN 0-231-09667-4 (pbk) Cll.97 ISBN 0-231-09666-6 (hbk) C24.00

Cannadine writes well. His prose is limpid, elegant and rarely strained. As I read the first chapter of this book I was persuaded for a while that here is an intelligent critic of Marxism whom I would be recommending others to read. By the end, I was deeply depressed that wide reading had produced in this instance such empty and almost wilfully blind erudition. Cannadine taught for ten years in the Department of History at the University of Columbia. During this period he seems never to have actually visited anywhere that is recognisable as the United States of America. Here is Cannadine's United States of America that, for him, is the `pioneering and prototypical classless society':

Undeniably, there are great-and growing-inequalities of power in the USA. But these do not translate into corresponding inequalities of social prestige or social perceptions. Unlike the British, Americans do not conceive of their society hierarchically. Nor do they think of it triadically, as the overwhelming majority of regard themselves as middle class. And nor, therefore, do they think of their society as being fissured one deep fundamental way. (Or if they do, it is on the grounds of race, not class.) (p. 190).

Cannadine apparently went to his USA in 1988. Only three years before my Californian, white, Quaker, brother-in-law, Lind, went to an inter-denominational church conference in Richmond, Indiana. He offered to fetch in pizza for a working lunch for himself and his colleagues. A local pastor recommended a good roadhouse for pizza. Whilst Lind was waiting there to order, he chatted to the man in front in the queue. The man gave his order, was given a chit with a number on, and went outside to wait for his pizza in the freezing winter cold. Eventually, the pizza for the man in front of Lind was passed out through a special hatch in the wall. Whilst he was waiting in the warm for his large order of pizzas, Lind, a very big man indeed, was approached by a local who belligerently advised him that, `Round here, we don't talk to niggers.' Lind replied that he did not come from round here. He was told to keep it that way. When he returned to the conference, he asked the local pastor he had spoken to before if they had a race problem in Richmond, Indiana. The pastor thought deeply, screwing up his face and looking up at the blank ceiling so he could scan the recesses of his memory: `Well, we did until about ten years ago,' he confessed. `But,' he continued, `we hung the nigger and everything has been fine since.' This anecdote finds some expression in the Gulag of the USA: `one in nine of AfricanAmerican males aged 20-29 is in prison at any one point and one in three is either in prison, on probation or parole' (Young, 1999: 147 citing Mauer, 1997). …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Rise and Fall of Class in Britain
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.