Review of 'The Village Labourer', JL Hammond and Barbara Hammond, Nonesuch £18
The Village Labourer, originally written in 1911, is about the dispossession and proletarianisation of the English peasantry. This process, called enclosure, is taught in schools as a story about the way agriculture was made more efficient. I was taught at school that, without enclosure, Malthus's prediction that England would run out of food for its growing population would have been realised.
This year marks the centenary of the first Russian Revolution - an event that shaped our understanding of how mass movements can grow.