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E. P. Thompson

E. P. Thompson

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Edward Palmer Thompson (3 February 1924 – 28 August 1993) was a British historian, writer, socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 and peace campaigner. He is probably best known today for his historical work on the British radical movements in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, in particular The Making of the English Working Class
The Making of the English Working Class
The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson, a notable 'New Left' historian; it was published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book...

(1963). He also published influential biographies of William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

 (1955) and (posthumously) William Blake
William Blake
William Blake was an English poet, painter, and printmaker. Largely unrecognised during his lifetime, Blake is now considered a seminal figure in the history of both the poetry and visual arts of the Romantic Age...

 (1993) and was a prolific journalist and essayist. He also published the novel The Sykaos Papers
The Sykaos Papers
The Sykaos Papers is a science fiction novel by the historian E. P. Thompson, first published in 1988 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc using the ISBN numbers 0747503273, 9780747503279....

and a collection of poetry.

Thompson was one of the principal intellectuals of the Communist Party
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

 in Great Britain. Although he left the party in 1956 over the Soviet invasion
1956 Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....

 of Hungary, he nevertheless remained a "historian in the Marxist
Karl Marx
Karl Heinrich Marx was a German philosopher, economist, sociologist, historian, journalist, and revolutionary socialist. His ideas played a significant role in the development of social science and the socialist political movement...

 tradition," calling for a rebellion against Stalinism
Stalinism
Stalinism refers to the ideology that Joseph Stalin conceived and implemented in the Soviet Union, and is generally considered a branch of Marxist–Leninist ideology but considered by some historians to be a significant deviation from this philosophy...

 as a prerequisite for the restoration of communists' "confidence in our own revolutionary perspectives". Thompson played a key role in the first New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

 in Britain in the late 1950s. He was a vociferous left-wing socialist critic of the Labour governments of 1964–70 and 1974–79, and during the 1980s, he was the leading intellectual light of the movement against nuclear weapons in Europe.

Early life


E.P. Thompson was born in Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 to Methodist missionary parents: His father was a poet and admirer of the Nobel-prize winning poet Tagore
Tagore
Tagore is the name of a prominent Bengali family of intellectuals, writers and artists, generally known as the Tagore family.People - Jorasanko branch of the Tagore family...

. His older brother was William Frank Thompson
William Frank Thompson
William Frank Thompson was a British officer who acted as a liaison officer between the British Army and the Bulgarian communist and antifascist partisans during World War II....

 (1920–1944), a British officer in World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, who was captured and shot aiding the Bulgaria
Bulgaria
Bulgaria , officially the Republic of Bulgaria , is a parliamentary democracy within a unitary constitutional republic in Southeast Europe. The country borders Romania to the north, Serbia and Macedonia to the west, Greece and Turkey to the south, as well as the Black Sea to the east...

n anti-fascist partisans.

Education


Thompson was educated at two independent school
Independent school
An independent school is a school that is independent in its finances and governance; it is not dependent upon national or local government for financing its operations, nor reliant on taxpayer contributions, and is instead funded by a combination of tuition charges, gifts, and in some cases the...

s, being The Dragon School
Dragon School
The Dragon School is a British coeducational, preparatory school in the city of Oxford, founded in 1877 as the Oxford Preparatory School, or OPS. It is primarily known as a boarding school, although it also takes day pupils...

 in Oxford
Oxford
The city of Oxford is the county town of Oxfordshire, England. The city, made prominent by its medieval university, has a population of just under 165,000, with 153,900 living within the district boundary. It lies about 50 miles north-west of London. The rivers Cherwell and Thames run through...

 and Kingswood School
Kingswood School
Kingswood School, referred to as 'Kingswood', is an independent day and boarding school located in Bath, Somerset, England. The school is coeducational and educates some 950 children aged 3 to 18. It is notable for being founded by John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, in 1748...

 in Bath. During World War II, he served in a tank unit in the Italian campaign
Italian Campaign (World War II)
The Italian Campaign of World War II was the name of Allied operations in and around Italy, from 1943 to the end of the war in Europe. Joint Allied Forces Headquarters AFHQ was operationally responsible for all Allied land forces in the Mediterranean theatre, and it planned and commanded the...

. Subsequently, he studied at Corpus Christi College
Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
Corpus Christi College is a constituent college of the University of Cambridge. It is notable as the only college founded by Cambridge townspeople: it was established in 1352 by the Guilds of Corpus Christi and the Blessed Virgin Mary...

 at the University of Cambridge
University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge is a public research university located in Cambridge, United Kingdom. It is the second-oldest university in both the United Kingdom and the English-speaking world , and the seventh-oldest globally...

, where he joined the Communist Party of Great Britain
Communist Party of Great Britain
The Communist Party of Great Britain was the largest communist party in Great Britain, although it never became a mass party like those in France and Italy. It existed from 1920 to 1991.-Formation:...

. In 1989 he became an Honorary Fellow of that College.

Life and career


In 1946, E.P. Thompson formed the Communist Party Historians Group
Communist Party Historians Group
A subdivision of the Communist Party of Great Britain , from 1946-1956 the Communist Party Historians Group formed a highly influential cluster of British Marxist historians, who contributed to "history from below." Famous members included such leading lights of 20th-century British history as...

 along with Christopher Hill, Eric Hobsbawm
Eric Hobsbawm
Eric John Ernest Hobsbawm , CH, FBA, is a British Marxist historian, public intellectual, and author...

, Rodney Hilton
Rodney Hilton
Rodney Howard Hilton, , was an English Marxist historian of the late medieval period and the transition from feudalism to capitalism. He was born in Manchester and studied at Balliol College Oxford University and was a member of the Communist Party Historians Group before leaving the party in 1956...

, Dona Torr
Dona Torr
Dona Ruth Anne Torr was a British Marxist historian, and a major influence on the Communist Party Historians Group. Aside from her translations of many Marxist classics into English, she is perhaps best known for her unfinished biography of the important labour activist, Tom Mann, Tom Mann and his...

 and others. In 1952 this group launched the influential journal Past and Present
Past & Present
Past & Present is a British historical academic journal, which was a leading force in the development of social history. It was founded in 1952 by a combination of Marxist and non-Marxist historians. The Marxist historians included members of the Communist Party Historians Group, including E. P...

.

William Morris


Thompson's first major work was his biography of William Morris
William Morris
William Morris 24 March 18343 October 1896 was an English textile designer, artist, writer, and socialist associated with the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood and the English Arts and Crafts Movement...

, written while he was a member of the Communist Party. Subtitled From Romantic to Revolutionary, it was part of an effort by the Communist Party Historians' Group, inspired by Torr, to emphasise the domestic roots of Marxism in Britain at a time when the Communist Party was under attack for always following the Moscow line. It was also an attempt to take Morris back from the critics who for more than 50 years had emphasised his art and downplayed his politics.

Although Morris' political work is well to the fore, Thompson also used his literary talents to comment on aspects of Morris' work, such as his early Romantic poetry, which had previously received relatively little consideration. As the preface to the 2nd edition (1976) notes, the first edition (1955) appears to have received relatively little attention from the literary establishment because of its then-unfashionable Marxist viewpoint. However, the somewhat rewritten second edition was much better received.

The first New Left


After Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Khrushchev
Nikita Sergeyevich Khrushchev led the Soviet Union during part of the Cold War. He served as First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union from 1953 to 1964, and as Chairman of the Council of Ministers, or Premier, from 1958 to 1964...

's "secret speech"
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences
On the Personality Cult and its Consequences was a report, critical of Joseph Stalin, made to the Twentieth Party Congress on February 25, 1956 by Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev. It is more commonly known as the Secret Speech or the Khrushchev Report...

 to the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union
Communist Party of the Soviet Union
The Communist Party of the Soviet Union was the only legal, ruling political party in the Soviet Union and one of the largest communist organizations in the world...

 in 1956, which revealed that the Soviet party leadership had long been aware of Stalin's crimes, Thompson (with John Saville
John Saville
John Saville was a Greek-British Marxist historian, long associated with Hull University. He was one of the most influential writers on British Labour History in the second half of the twentieth century.- Life and career :...

 and others) started a dissident publication inside the CP, called The Reasoner. Six months later, he and most of his comrades left the party in disgust at the Soviet invasion of Hungary
1956 Hungarian Revolution
The Hungarian Revolution or Uprising of 1956 was a spontaneous nationwide revolt against the government of the People's Republic of Hungary and its Soviet-imposed policies, lasting from 23 October until 10 November 1956....

.

But Thompson remained what he called a "socialist humanist". With Saville and others, he set up the New Reasoner
New Reasoner
During the crisis of the 1950s within the Communist Party of Great Britain , John Saville and E.P. Thompson created a journal of dissident Communism named the Reasoner. They took the title from an early 19th century publication, created by John Bone, which had been an attempt at renewing and...

, a journal that sought to develop a democratic socialist alternative to what its editors considered the ossified official Marxism
Marxism
Marxism is an economic and sociopolitical worldview and method of socioeconomic inquiry that centers upon a materialist interpretation of history, a dialectical view of social change, and an analysis and critique of the development of capitalism. Marxism was pioneered in the early to mid 19th...

 of the Communist
Communism
Communism is a social, political and economic ideology that aims at the establishment of a classless, moneyless, revolutionary and stateless socialist society structured upon common ownership of the means of production...

 and Trotskyist parties and the managerialist cold war social democracy of the Labour Party
Labour Party (UK)
The Labour Party is a centre-left democratic socialist party in the United Kingdom. It surpassed the Liberal Party in general elections during the early 1920s, forming minority governments under Ramsay MacDonald in 1924 and 1929-1931. The party was in a wartime coalition from 1940 to 1945, after...

 and its international allies. The New Reasoner was the most important organ of what became known as the "New Left
New Left
The New Left was a term used mainly in the United Kingdom and United States in reference to activists, educators, agitators and others in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to implement a broad range of reforms, in contrast to earlier leftist or Marxist movements that had taken a more vanguardist...

", an informal movement of dissident leftists closely associated with the nascent movement for nuclear disarmament in the late 1950s and early 1960s.

The New Reasoner combined with the Universities and Left Review to form New Left Review
New Left Review
New Left Review is a 160-page journal, published every two months from London, devoted to world politics, economy and culture. Often compared to the French-language Les Temps modernes, it is associated with Verso Books , and regularly features the essays of authorities on contemporary social...

in 1960, though Thompson and others fell out with the group around Perry Anderson
Perry Anderson
Perry Anderson is a British Leftist intellectual, historian, and political essayist. He is often identified with the post-1956 Western Marxism of the New Left in Europe. He is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles and an editor of the New Left Review. He...

 who took over the journal in 1962. The fashion ever since has been to describe the Thompson et al. New Left as "the first New Left" and the Anderson et al. group, which by 1968 had embraced Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali
Tariq Ali , , is a British Pakistani military historian, novelist, journalist, filmmaker, public intellectual, political campaigner, activist, and commentator...

 and various Trotskyists, as the second.

Thompson subsequently allied himself with the annual Socialist Register
Socialist Register
Socialist Register is an annual journal. It was founded in 1964 by Ralph Miliband and John Saville. They had criticisms of the New Left Review after Perry Anderson assumed leadership of the NLR. Miliband and Saville sought to bring about a journal in the orientation of The New Reasoner....

publication. With Raymond Williams
Raymond Williams
Raymond Henry Williams was a Welsh academic, novelist and critic. He was an influential figure within the New Left and in wider culture. His writings on politics, culture, the mass media and literature are a significant contribution to the Marxist critique of culture and the arts...

 and Stuart Hall
Stuart Hall (cultural theorist)
Stuart Hall is a cultural theorist and sociologist who has lived and worked in the United Kingdom since 1951. Hall, along with Richard Hoggart and Raymond Williams, was one of the founding figures of the school of thought that is now known as British Cultural Studies or The Birmingham School of...

, he was one of the editors of the 1967 May Day Manifesto, one of the key left-wing challenges to the 1964–70 Labour government of Harold Wilson
Harold Wilson
James Harold Wilson, Baron Wilson of Rievaulx, KG, OBE, FRS, FSS, PC was a British Labour Member of Parliament, Leader of the Labour Party. He was twice Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the 1960s and 1970s, winning four general elections, including a minority government after the...

.

The Making of the English Working Class


Thompson's most influential work was and remains The Making of the English Working Class
The Making of the English Working Class
The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson, a notable 'New Left' historian; it was published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book...

, published in 1963 while he was working at the University of Leeds
University of Leeds
The University of Leeds is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Leeds, West Yorkshire, England...

. It told the forgotten history of the first working-class political left in the world in the late-18th and early-19th centuries. In his preface to this book, Thompson set out his approach to writing history from below:
Thompson's work was also significant because of the way he defined "class". To Thompson, class was not a structure, but a relationship:
By re-defining class as a relationship that changed over time, Thompson proceeded to demonstrate how class was worthy of historical investigation. He opened the gates for a generation of labor historians, such as David Montgomery and Herbert Gutman
Herbert Gutman
Herbert Gutman was an American professor of history at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York, where he wrote on slavery and labor history.-Early life and education:...

, who made similar studies of the American working classes.

A major work of research and synthesis, the book was also important in historiographical terms: with it, Thompson demonstrated the power of an historical Marxism rooted in the experience of real flesh-and-blood workers. It remains on university reading lists 40 years after its publication. Thompson wrote the book whilst living in Siddal, Halifax, West Yorkshire
Halifax, West Yorkshire
Halifax is a minster town, within the Metropolitan Borough of Calderdale in West Yorkshire, England. It has an urban area population of 82,056 in the 2001 Census. It is well-known as a centre of England's woollen manufacture from the 15th century onward, originally dealing through the Halifax Piece...

 and based some of the work on his experiences with the local Halifax population.

Freelance polemicist


Thompson left the University of Warwick
University of Warwick
The University of Warwick is a public research university located in Coventry, United Kingdom...

 in protest at the commercialisation of the academy, documented in the book Warwick University Limited (1971). He continued to teach and lecture as a visiting professor, particularly in the United States, but increasingly worked as a freelance writer. He turned to freelancing, contributing many essays to New Society, Socialist Register and historical journals. In 1978 he published The Poverty of Theory which attacked the structuralist Marxism
Structural Marxism
Structural Marxism was an approach to Marxist philosophy based on structuralism, primarily associated with the work of the French philosopher Louis Althusser and his students. It was influential in France during the 1960s and 1970s, and also came to influence philosophers, political theorists and...

 of Louis Althusser
Louis Althusser
Louis Pierre Althusser was a French Marxist philosopher. He was born in Algeria and studied at the École Normale Supérieure in Paris, where he eventually became Professor of Philosophy....

 and his followers in Britain on New Left Review, (famously saying "...all of them are Geschichtenscheissenschlopff, unhistorical shit."), and which provoked a book-length response from Perry Anderson
Perry Anderson
Perry Anderson is a British Leftist intellectual, historian, and political essayist. He is often identified with the post-1956 Western Marxism of the New Left in Europe. He is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles and an editor of the New Left Review. He...

, Arguments Within English Marxism.

During the late 1970s he acquired a large public audience as a critic of the then Labour government's disregard of civil liberties; his writings from this time are collected in Writing By Candlelight (1980).

Voice of the peace movement


From 1980, Thompson was the most prominent intellectual of the revived movement for nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament
Nuclear disarmament refers to both the act of reducing or eliminating nuclear weapons and to the end state of a nuclear-free world, in which nuclear weapons are completely eliminated....

, revered by activists throughout the world. In Britain, his pamphlet Protest and Survive, a parody on the government leaflet Protect and Survive
Protect and Survive
Protect and Survive was a public information series on civil defence produced by the British government during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was intended to inform British citizens on how to protect themselves during a nuclear attack, and consisted of a mixture of pamphlets, radio broadcasts,...

, played a major role in the revived strength of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament
The Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament is an anti-nuclear organisation that advocates unilateral nuclear disarmament by the United Kingdom, international nuclear disarmament and tighter international arms regulation through agreements such as the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty...

. Just as important, Thompson was, with Ken Coates
Ken Coates
Kenneth Sidney Coates was a British politician and writer. He chaired the Bertrand Russell Peace Foundation and edited The Spokesman, the BRPF magazine launched in March 1970. He was a Labour Party Member of the European Parliament from 1989 to 1999...

, Mary Kaldor
Mary Kaldor
Mary Kaldor is a British academic, currently Professor of Global Governance at the London School of Economics, where she is also the Director of its Centre for the Study of Global Governance. She has been a key figure in the development of cosmopolitan democracy...

 and others, an author of the 1980 Appeal for European Nuclear Disarmament, calling for a nuclear-free
Nuclear-free zone
A nuclear-free zone is an area where nuclear weapons and nuclear power are banned. The specific ramifications of these depend on the locale in question....

 Europe from Poland to Portugal, which was the founding document of European Nuclear Disarmament
European Nuclear Disarmament
European Nuclear Disarmament was a Europe-wide movement for a "nuclear-free Europe from Poland to Portugal” that put on annual European Nuclear Disarmament conventions from 1982 to 1991.- Origins :...

. Confusingly, END was both a Europe-wide campaign that comprised a series of large public conferences (the END Conventions), and a small British pressure group.

Thompson played a key role in both END and CND throughout the 1980s, speaking at innumerable public meetings, corresponding with hundreds of fellow activists and sympathetic intellectuals, and doing more than his fair share of committee work. He had a particularly important part in opening a dialogue between the west European peace movement and dissidents in Soviet-dominated eastern Europe, particularly in Hungary and Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia
Czechoslovakia or Czecho-Slovakia was a sovereign state in Central Europe which existed from October 1918, when it declared its independence from the Austro-Hungarian Empire, until 1992...

, for which he was denounced as a tool of American imperialism by the Soviet authorities.

He wrote dozens of polemical articles and essays during this period, which are collected in the books Zero Option (1982) and The Heavy Dancers (1985). He also wrote an extended essay attacking the ideologists on both sides of the cold war, Double Exposure (1985) and edited a collection of essays opposing Ronald Reagan
Ronald Reagan
Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th President of the United States , the 33rd Governor of California and, prior to that, a radio, film and television actor....

's Strategic Defense Initiative
Strategic Defense Initiative
The Strategic Defense Initiative was proposed by U.S. President Ronald Reagan on March 23, 1983 to use ground and space-based systems to protect the United States from attack by strategic nuclear ballistic missiles. The initiative focused on strategic defense rather than the prior strategic...

, Star Wars (1985).

An excerpt from a speech given by Thompson featured in the computer game Deus Ex Machina
Deus Ex Machina (video game)
Deus Ex Machina was a computer game designed and created by Mel Croucher and published by Automata UK for the ZX Spectrum in October 1984.The game was the first to be accompanied by a fully synchronised audio cassette tape which contained a voice and music track. The cast included Ian Dury, Jon...

 (1984). Thompson's own haunting recitation of his 1950 poem of "apocalyptic expectation, "The Place Called Choice," appeared on the 1984 vinyl recording, "The Apocalypso," by Canadian pop group, Singing Fools
Singing Fools
Singing Fools was a short-lived non-performing music group established in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, in November 1982 by musicians Tim Dunlop and Kevin Murphy....

, released by A&M Records.

William Blake


The last book Thompson finished was Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law
Witness Against the Beast
Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law is a 1993 book by the British historian E. P. Thompson in which Thompson contextualizes the work of the otherwise enigmatic poet and painter William Blake. The last book that Thompson would write, it was published posthumously...

(1993). The product of years of research and published shortly after his death, it shows how far Blake was inspired by dissident religious ideas rooted in the thinking of the most radical opponents of the monarchy during the English civil war.

Personal life


Thompson married Dorothy Towers
Dorothy Thompson (historian)
Dorothy Katharine Gane Thompson was a social historian, a leading expert on the Chartist movement. She entered Girton College, Cambridge, in 1942. During the war, her work as an industrial draughtswoman for Royal Dutch Shell interrupted her formal education...

 in 1948. A fellow left-wing historian, she wrote studies on women in the Chartist
Chartism
Chartism was a movement for political and social reform in the United Kingdom during the mid-19th century, between 1838 and 1859. It takes its name from the People's Charter of 1838. Chartism was possibly the first mass working class labour movement in the world...

 movement, and of Queen Victoria
Victoria of the United Kingdom
Victoria was the monarch of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland from 20 June 1837 until her death. From 1 May 1876, she used the additional title of Empress of India....

 (subtitled 'Gender and Power'); she was Professor of History at the University of Birmingham
University of Birmingham
The University of Birmingham is a British Redbrick university located in the city of Birmingham, England. It received its royal charter in 1900 as a successor to Birmingham Medical School and Mason Science College . Birmingham was the first Redbrick university to gain a charter and thus...

. The Thompsons had three children, of which their youngest is the award-winning children's writer, Kate Thompson
Kate Thompson (author)
Kate Thompson is an award-winning writer for children and adults. Born in Halifax, Yorkshire, she has lived in Ireland, where many of her books are set, since 1981. She is the youngest child of the social historians and peace activists E. P. Thompson and Dorothy Towers...

.

Thompson died in Worcester
Worcester
The City of Worcester, commonly known as Worcester, , is a city and county town of Worcestershire in the West Midlands of England. Worcester is situated some southwest of Birmingham and north of Gloucester, and has an approximate population of 94,000 people. The River Severn runs through the...

.

William Frank Thompson



Thompson's older brother William Frank Thompson
William Frank Thompson
William Frank Thompson was a British officer who acted as a liaison officer between the British Army and the Bulgarian communist and antifascist partisans during World War II....

 (1920–1944), was also a member of the British Communist Party during World War Two. A gifted linguist, Frank Thompson parachuted into fascist-occupied Bulgaria as part of a "Phantom Brigade" during Operation Mulligatawny. There, he supported the resistance as a liaison officer. Frank Thompson was captured and on 10 June 1944 he was executed. His body was buried in the War Cemetery of Sofia. After the war, the Bulgarians erected a statue in his honour. The nearby villages of Livage, Lipata, Tsarevi Stragi, Malak Babul, Babul and Zavoya were merged and renamed to Thompson
Thompson, Bulgaria
Thompson is a village in central western Bulgaria, part of Svoge municipality, Sofia Province. As of 2008, it has a population of 838 and the mayor is Kiril Tsvetanov. Thompson lies at , 729 metres above mean sea level....

 in the British officer's honour.

E. P. Thompson and his mother wrote There is a Spirit in Europe: A Memoir of Frank Thompson (1947). Frank Thompson was also a friend and confidant of Iris Murdoch
Iris Murdoch
Dame Iris Murdoch DBE was an Irish-born British author and philosopher, best known for her novels about political and social questions of good and evil, sexual relationships, morality, and the power of the unconscious...

, the philosopher and novelist. E. P. Thompson wrote another book about his brother in 1996.

Key works

  • The Making of the English Working Class
    The Making of the English Working Class
    The Making of the English Working Class is an influential and pivotal work of English social history, written by E. P. Thompson, a notable 'New Left' historian; it was published in 1963 by Victor Gollancz Ltd, and later republished at Pelican, becoming an early Open University Set Book...

    London: Victor Gollancz (1963); 2nd edition with new postscript, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1968, third edition with new preface 1980.
  • Time, work-discipline and industrial capitalism. Past & Present 38(1), 56-97 (1967)
  • Whigs and Hunters: The Origin of the Black Act, London: Allen Lane, 1975; with a new poscript, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1977.
  • (editor) Albion's Fatal Tree: Crime and Society in Eighteenth Century England, London: Allen Lane, 1975.
  • William Morris: Romantic to Revolutionary (1st ed. London: Lawrence & Wishart 1955, revised 2nd ed. New York: Pantheon, 1976).
  • The Poverty of Theory and Other Essays, London: Merlin Press, 1978.
  • Writing by Candlelight, London: Merlin Press, 1980.
  • Zero Option, London: Merlin Press, 1982.
  • Double Exposure, London: Merlin Press, 1985.
  • The Heavy Dancers, London: Merlin Press, 1985.
  • The Sykaos Papers
    The Sykaos Papers
    The Sykaos Papers is a science fiction novel by the historian E. P. Thompson, first published in 1988 by Bloomsbury Publishing Plc using the ISBN numbers 0747503273, 9780747503279....

    , London: Bloomsbury, 1988.
  • Customs in Common: Studies in Traditional Popular Culture, London: Merlin Press, 1991.
  • Witness Against the Beast: William Blake and the Moral Law, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1993.
  • Alien Homage: Edward Thompson and Rabindranath Tagore, Delhi: Oxford University Press, 1993.
  • Making History: Writings on History and Culture, New York: New Press, 1994.
  • Beyond the Frontier: the Politics of a Failed Mission, Bulgaria 1944, Rendlesham: Merlin, 1997.
  • The Romantics: England in a Revolutionary Age, Woodbridge: Merlin Press, 1997.
  • Collected Poems, Newcastle upon Tyne: Bloodaxe, 1999.

Further reading

  • Anderson, Perry
    Perry Anderson
    Perry Anderson is a British Leftist intellectual, historian, and political essayist. He is often identified with the post-1956 Western Marxism of the New Left in Europe. He is Professor of History and Sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles and an editor of the New Left Review. He...

    Arguments within English Marxism, London: Verso, 1980.
  • Johnson, R. "Edward Thompson, Eugence Genovese and Socialist-humanist History", History Workshop Journal, 6, 1978, pp. 79–100.
  • Kaye, Harvey The British Marxist Historians, Cambridge: Polity Press, 1984.
  • _____ and Keith McClelland, editors, E.P.Thompson: Critical Perspectives, London: Polity Press, 1990.
  • Merrill, M. "Interview with E.P. Thompson", Visions of History edited by H. Abelove, Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1976, pp. 5–25.
  • New Left Review, 201, 1993, pp. 3–25.
  • Palmer, B. D. The Making of E.P. Thompson: Marxism, Humanism, and History, Toronto: New Hogtown Press, 1981.
  • _____. E. P. Thompson Objections and Oppositions, New York: Verso, 1994.
  • Radical History Review, 58, 1994, pp. 152–164.