The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists

  • by Robert Tressell
  • Narrated by Tony Robinson
  • 5 hrs and 14 mins
  • Abridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

There is no other novel quite like The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists. George Orwell called it "a wonderful book"; its readers have become a living part of its remarkable history. Tressell's novel is about survival on the underside of the Edwardian Twilight, about exploitative employment when the only safety nets are charity, workhouse, and grave. Following the fortunes of a group of painters and decorators and their families, and the attempts to rouse their political will by the Socialist visionary Frank Owen, the audiobook is both a highly entertaining story and a passionate appeal for a fairer way of life. It asks questions that are still being asked today: why do yourwages bear no relation to the value of your work? Why do fat cats get richer when you don't? Tressell's answers are "The Great Money Trick" and the "philanthropy" of an unenlightened workforce, who give away their rights and aspirations to a decent life so freely.
Intellectually enlightening, deeply moving, and gloriously funny (complete with exploding clergyman), The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists is a book that changes lives.


What the Critics Say

"A brilliant and very funny book." (The Spectator)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


one of those books like Lord of the Flies or 1984 that are still so relevant today
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- brent

Not a must read

As I find reading most politically inspired books, "The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists" is an extreme view. The author portrays all the capitalists as evil and greedy and the poor suffering working class as having no options. While hailing the greatness of socialism, Tressell neglects to take into account the nature of man to be greedy and lazy as well as ignoring that people may actually want to be different, have different things, travel, change their vocation or any other objection you may have to socialism. He just kind of sweeps them under the rug with a statement about how that wouldn't be necessary or simply wouldn't happen.

The story itself moved along pretty well. The characters were well thought out although a little one dimensional. It's not a long book so it was not too much of a drag to get through but don't expect any great philosophical revelations, it's mostly socialist propaganda with very little applicable material to today's society. It's been proven that socialism doesn't work so I kind of found it a moot point.

The narrator does a very good job and I rather enjoyed his performance. I would consider listening to him again.
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- Kenneth

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-13-2005
  • Publisher: CSA Word