This is not so much a book on the history of vegetable growing but on the social and political history of the allotment movement. Whereas some modern gardeners view the movement as a product of alternative 1970s lifestyles, Poole stresses the much older origins arising from the need to alleviate poverty, and in some cases, destitution. He views events such as the need to compensate commoners disposessed through the Enclosure Acts, the benevolance of some landowners, and nineteenth century local government reforms, as critical contributions towards the strength of the allotment movement. Never short on detail, Poole inserts a diverse range of quotes to illustrate his arguments.
This book would interest social historians (even those who are not growers themselves) who wish to understand the social and political factors which contributed to the allotment movement.