The Magna Carta Manifesto: Liberties and Commons for All

By Peter Linebaugh.  University of California Press, 2008.  Radical historian Peter Linebaugh of the University of Toledo has recovered the forgotten history of Magna Carta and the overlooked Charter of the Forest, which together established new legal restraints against tyranny while protecting the subsistence rights of the commoners.  The Magna Carta Manifesto is a bracing excavation of the political conflicts between the king and landed classes on the one hand, and the commoners on the other; the importance of "commoning" in the life of ordinary people in the 12th and 13th Centuries, and the mythologies that have been constructed to obscure the real history of Magna Carta.  My 2006 blog post on a related Linebaugh essay, "The Magna Carta and Commoners."

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