Nonconformity, Labour and the Social Question in Wales, 1906-1939
This volume examines the connections and conflicts between socialist politics, trade unions and the Church. Much of the social and industrial history written between 1975 and 1997 has presented the working-class culture of early 20th-century Wales in terms of a thirst for knowledge that was secular, economic and political. The emphasis has been on the influence of the union lodge and the working man's institute, and the high priority given to sport and the public house. It seems odd that little attention has been given to religion, and despite the fact that the 1904-5 revival brought many thousands into contact with the chapel. This study looks at the relationship between the Labour movement and the Nonconformist chapels, and assesses whether the evidence does in fact support claims of a massive exodus from the chapels into the Labour movement, with the latter taking the lead in addressing the social and personal needs of the working class. Robert Pope argues that the role of the chapel has been underestimated and that it retained a significant hold on community life during the early part of the 20th century.
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What Reviewers Are Saying
A fascinating depiction of a unique if tense and ambiguous relationship.--Ian Machin "Welsh History Review "