The People: in shops now

The People: the rise and fall of the working class, 1910-2010

Below you can find details of launch events and talks at which I’ll discuss my research on working-class life and the importance of working-class people’s own voices for the history of the last century. Joining me at these events are some fantastic speakers and writers interested in class and inequality, including Melissa Benn, Lynsey Hanley and Kate Pickett



Wakefield, 22 February

On 22 Feb I’m joining Jon Trickett MP to discuss academies – why they’re a terrible idea and what we can do to replace them. Please come and join the discussion. Details here: FinalFlyerforEduationEventback.jpg

Sweetly Sings The Donkey, 7-8 Sept, Lowry Theatre

This play, based on a radio trilogy composed by Shelagh Delaney, is going to be ace. You can book tickets here  safe in the knowledge I am not performing in it. The link gives you information about the play’s content, which spans women’s lives across the last 60 years. It  is part of a bigger project on the history of working-class women, culture, and feminism, involving social and affordable housing tenants in a Salford high rise, MaD Theatre Company, and the Working Class Movement Library, which is connected with my forthcoming biography of Shelagh Delaney: more details here.


Speaking at Roger Mayne exhibition 25 May 2017

I’ll be talking as part of a panel on this photographer’s work in working-class districts of postwar London. More details here


Myths of Social Mobility: lecture, April 2017

On 5 April 2017 I am giving the keynote lecture at the annual Social History Society conference. I’ll be talking about ‘The myths of social mobility in 20th century Britain’. This event will be at the Institute of Education in London. You may need to register for the conference to attend. For more details see the Social History Society website.


Social mobility debate

On 13 Dec 2016 I joined Alan Milburn and others to debate “seeking social mobility solutions: is equality of opportunity in higher education and the professions possible within the current system?” at Inner Temple in London.  SOLD OUT


Flappers and Factory Girls in Leeds

On 5 October I’m giving a free public talk at Leeds Central Library on Flappers and Factory Girls: how young women changed Britain. This invitation, from historians Kate Dossett and Laura King at Leeds University, means a lot to me. As readers of The People will know, my mum hails from Hunslet in Leeds. My first book, Young women, work, and family in England 1918-1950 has a front cover photo of young women workers at a Leeds factory (it is currently priced at 93 quid by Oxford University Press; more than most of those women earned in a year). I am very grateful to the wonderful West Yorkshire Archive Service for allowing me to use that photo and for their help in locating it. For lots of reasons Leeds is a very special city, and I’m delighted to be invited to speak there. For more details see the Events page.


The World Transformed

Come join me, Jon Cruddas and others to discuss Englishness at Momentum’s Festival of Ideas in Liverpool on Mon 26 September 2016. Details here. Excellent looking event on higher education chaired by Sol Gamsu directly precedes it – hope to see you there!