A History of Riots

Flett Riots

A History of Riots  is the result of a conference held by the London Socialist Historians Group in early 2012, designed to look again at the historical aspects of riots in the wake of the August 2011 riots in the UK.

Many historians had thought that riots were a method of protest and revolt which had given way to more organised forms of expression, from trade unions to political parties, during the course of the nineteenth century. Events have proven this idea to be incorrect. Riots still take place around the world on a regular basis.

The contributors to A History of Riots probe various aspects of riots in order to examine the historical issues and concerns that motivate them and dictate their course and to better understand why they take place in the current day.

Sean Creighton looks at the Trafalgar Square riots in London in 1887, referred to as ‘Bloody Sunday’.

Ian Birchall analyses how riots have been represented in fiction, while Neil Davidson reviews riotous activity around the Scottish Act of Union in 1707.

Keith Flett looks at what is sometimes held to be the peak of British riot history, the Chartist period of the 1840s, while

John Newsinger offers a different perspective: not a riot inspired by the crowd or the ‘mob’, as media commentators persist in naming protesters, but one driven by authority, a police riot in the US in the 1930s.

There are editorial introductions and conclusions that place these specific historical studies of aspects of the history of riots in a wider methodological and theoretical framework, looking at the work of some of the foremost historians of riots, including George Rude, and more recent material by Adrian Randall, Andrew Charlesworth and others.

The perspective of the book is clear. Riots are something which is an important part of history, but they also remain part of the present too. In this sense, understanding their history is an important task for historians and all those interested in how, and in what forms, protest develops.

This book represents a contribution to, and promotes, a discussion of both the history of riots and how an examination of this can help provide a better understanding of riots today.

See more details at http://www.cambridgescholars.com/a-history-of-riots

A downloadable extract including part of my chapter can be seen at

http://www.cambridgescholars.com/download/sample/62053

The publisher also has the title Riots in Literature (ed)  David Bell and Gerald Porter (2008)

http://www.cambridgescholars.com/riots-in-literature-19

My reflections on contemporary policing, demonstrations and disorder can be seen at:

http://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.co.uk/2010/11/wednesday-10-november-policing.html

http://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.co.uk/2011/04/can-police-be-trusted-again.html

http://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.co.uk/2010/12/it-is-interesting-to-see-how-events.html

http://historyandsocialaction.blogspot.co.uk/2011/11/i-had-not-originally-intended-to-go-on.html

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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