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An extremely important book for any reader interested in current social problems -- and a book that is, in itself, sheer delight to those who enjoy Priestley at his best, in his pictures of rare bits of England and England's countryside. No conventional travel book this, but a journey which takes one to the cities and countryside where the machine has been king and where depression rules in its stead. Through Lancaster and Lincoln, Yorkshire and Coventry, Birmingham and Leicester, from end to end of England, he goes, talking to the idle people and the few workers still on the job, visiting their dance halls, their parks, their picture houses. He interviews the bosses, the few capitalists that have survived. He thinks smokeless chimneys a menace, ships rusting at their docks, a tragedy. He marvels at the dull patience of the people, and bewails the frightful conditions of the English workingman. A heartbreaking picture he paints in perfect prose, without recourse to sob stuff or maudlin sentimentality. He pleads that the ruling classes take the journey he has made and act to remedy the evils that were spawned by the machine age. The dole is not answer. Let the nation set themselves to social planning lest the people perish.

Pub Date: Aug. 8th, 1934
Publisher: Harper