The Road to Wigan Pier

The Road to Wigan Pier

Book - 1958
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In the 1930s Orwell was sent by a socialist book club to investigate the appalling mass unemployment in the industrial north of England. He went beyond his assignment to investigate the employed as well-"to see the most typical section of the English working class." Foreword by Victor Gollancz.
Publisher: San Diego : Harcourt Brace, c1958.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780156767507
Branch Call Number: 305.562 ORW
Characteristics: 232 p. ; 21 cm.


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Feb 01, 2018

Orwell wrote this book during the great economic depression of the 1930's, but the remarkable thing is how relevant it is today.

The first half of the book describes in detail what life is like in a depressed mining town in Northern England, seen from the perspective of an intelligent, curious and honest member of the "lower upper-middle class" from the South of Egland. His detailed explanations and admiration of coal miners tis worth considering, when we look at how many people still do physically taxing work today.

The second half of the book, which explains why people who have everything to gain from Socialism, so often oppose it. His analysis is different than what we can do in the US--England in the 1930's had its caste-like class structures and prejudices where in the US class prejudices manifest more in racial tensions and hierarchies, along with other ethnic, religious and stylistic division; and his major points still hold: many ordinary people dislike the notion of Socialism because they dislike the people, the image they associate with the word, and they dislike the super-organized-clean-and-lifeless-mechanical future which is also associated with Socialism.

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