One of these takes a deeply historical approach to the Luddites, taking care to place them in their moment in time and drawing as much as possible on the available primary sources to cut through the biases the term Luddite inspires in order to present a faithful account of who the Luddites really were and what they really did. The other approach carries a deep interest in the historical Luddites, but focuses more fully not on the reasons why the Luddites practiced the tactics for which they would become famous but focuses instead on the significance of that tactic itself. Both kinds wrestle with the matter of smashing machinery with hammers, but in one approach this is a particular tactic deployed by particular people in a particular context, and in the other approach the machine smashing is used to raise questions that goes beyond the Luddites and asks larger questions about people’s ongoing relationships to technology more broadly.
Or, to put this in a more straightforward way, when approaching any work related to the Luddites the question to ask is if it is a work about the Luddites or if it is a work about Luddism. With the works about the Luddites providing a historical account of a period of machine-breaking, while works about Luddism seek to develop a philosophy/politics/worldview based on machine-breaking. And within either genre of work one will find some that are laudatory and others that are scornful.