The editors present extracts from Charles Booth's books on the London of the 1880's and 1890's for their relevance to the concerns of our time. London was then tried with an influx from rural areas and the immigration of a community of East European Jews into the industrial heart of the city. Booth, born into a prosperous Unitarian family, became aware of and anxious about the poor of London in part because he considered them a potential social force. The editors place him as that maligned and misunderstood entity, the middle class reformer; his studies provide ""a first rate model for any exhaustive inquiry into urban poverty."" Booth concentrated on the East End, then found that poverty extended throughout the city to some 30.7% of its inhabitants. Using an empirical approach, he attained recognition, considered education the answer. Here then are statistics and case histories; the parallels have not been underscored but left to the modern reader, probably professional, to assess.