The Rise of Professional Society lays out a stimulating and controversial framework for the study of British society, challenging accepted paradigms based on class analysis. Perkins argues that the non-capitalist "professional class" represents a new principle of social organization based on trained expertise and meritocracy, a "forgotten middle class" conveniently overlooked by classical social theorists.
'A true magnum opus. No social historian can afford not to read it.' – Asa Briggs
'Accessible to the general reader, indispensable to the scholar and a solid achievement of synthesis and clarity.' – The Observer