Linebaugh is a treasure. His work continues on the track that his mentor EP Thompson set him on. Digging deep into the past to recover the rich lives of those who were pushed around and off the common land by the new rich of fenced land and sheep, the city and the factory, the prison and penal exile.
“I am seeking to rescue the poor stockinger, the Luddite cropper, the “obsolete” hand-loom weaver, the “utopian” artisan, and even the deluded follower of Joanna Southcott, from the enormous condescension of posterity.” (Thompson,1963) Why not quote the sentence that captured a generation’s interest in social history.
Linebaugh with his mate Rediker are at the top of that social history impulse with __The Many Headed Hydra: Sailors, Slaves, Commoners and the Hidden History of the Revolutionary Atlantic __(2001)
Stop, Thief! collects Linebaugh essays and reviews from the last ten years. great reading.