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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Victorian values revisited, 6 Jun. 2010
J. Boulton-Jones (UK) - See all my reviews
The book starts with a description of Margaret Thatcher's exhortation for us to embrace the values of the Victorians. There then follows a review of Victorian institutions seen through a rather rosy prism. The workhouse, for example, was a refuge of last resort designed to encourage the poor to do anything rather than enter it. Yet, we are also told that life was often much better inside than out. How come the poor failed to work that out? Nevertheless the book pays tribute to the self-discipline of our forefathers and suggests that we might do well to learn a bit from them. She points out how both American and British societies have deteriorated from the point of view of crime and illegitimacy, both of which are at epidemic levels in recent years.

The assumption that a return to Victorian values would reverse this epidemic underlies the book. But why should it? No mention is made of the correlation of both crime and single parent families with income inequality. Perhaps the USA and UK are suffering the epidemic because they are particularly unequal countries at present.

But it is a stimulating read.
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De-Moralization of Society: From Victorian Virtues to Modern Values (Choice in Welfare)
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