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Customer Review

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing resonances even in the 21st century, 2 April 2010
This review is from: English Journey (Hardcover)
Although this book was written in the 1930s some of the descriptions of life and the lot of the working classes have striking resemblances even today. To read this book is to travel back in time to an England of have and have nots; mainly have nots. Priestly presents a narrative rich in pathos and a genuine understanding of the difficulties of working class life. The photographs add an extra dimension and tell their own tale. These, even in their own right, leave the reader in no uncertainty as to the tremendous calamity facing working people during the 1930s. Strictly the description should be non working people. How would we fare if we were transported back into their environment? However, there are resonances. We still face the difficulties of youth unemployment and societal breakdown; the so called "corner boys" hanging around with no work or money. Only today this manifests in some communities in crime and drugs taking to overcome difficulties. It would be interesting if Priestly were alive today to see what he would make of those places so vividly described in this excellent book. This, I believe, is classic testament to the British way of life in those days of hardship and uncertainty. Beryl Bainbridge wrote a sequel to this by visiting the towns and cities described in the book with a subtitle " The Road to Milton Keynes", but I do not believe it has the vigour of Priestley's work. I enjoyed reading Priestly's book immensely and it should be considered an important social document of a way of life that begs the question as to whether even in this 21st century we have moved forward?
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Location: Southern UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 22,559