Professor Carl Chinn MBE Ph.D. F.Birm.Soc. is a social historian with a national profile, public speaker, writer, history tour conductor, teacher and charity fundraiser. A campaigner for good causes, he has also been active in pressing for the rights of working-class people and the recognition of the importance of manufacturing.
He was the expert on ITV’s ‘The Way We Were’ series and he has appeared on numerous Radio 4 programmes. These include those presented by Libby Purves and Laurie Taylor, whilst he presented the series ‘Centre of Our World’, looking at various ethnic minorities in Birmingham, and ‘Manufacturing Matters’ a polemic for manufacturing on ‘The World Tonight’. Most recently Professor Chinn has appeared as a historical expert on the ‘One Show’ discussing the Real Peaky Blinders, on the BBC 2 series ‘The Victorian Slum’ and on ‘Who Do You Think You Are’ as an expert on Birmingham’s history.
The writings of Professor Chinn are deeply affected by his family’s working-class background and life in the back-to-backs of Birmingham. An off-course bookmaker himself until 1984, his grandfather started as an illegal bookie in 1922 – a back-street business which his father later took on. This involvement led to his book ‘Better Betting with a Decent Feller. A Social History of Bookmaking’ (2004). Professor Chinn is the author of 31 other books that include studies of working-class housing, urban working class life, working-class women’s lives, manufacturing, Birmingham, the Black Country, and ethnic minorities. His latest books are ‘The Real Peaky Binders’ and ‘Birmingham. The Workshop of the World’, which is co-edited with Malcolm Dick and which is the first major history of Birmingham since the 1970s.
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