The Road to Wigan Pier

The Road to Wigan Pier

Book - 1989
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A searing account of George Orwell's observations of working-class life in the bleak industrial heartlands of Yorkshire and Lancashire in the 1930s, The Road to Wigan Pier is a brilliant and bitter polemic that has lost none of its political impact over time. His graphically unforgettable descriptions of social injustice, cramped slum housing, dangerous mining conditions, squalor, hunger and growing unemployment are written with unblinking honesty, fury and great humanity. It crystallized the ideas that would be found in Orwell's later works and novels, and remains a powerful portrait of poverty, injustice and class divisions in Britain.Published with an introduction by Richard Hoggart in Penguin Modern Classics.'It is easy to see why the book created and still creates so sharp an impact ... exceptional immediacy, freshness and vigour, opinionated and bold ... Above all, it is a study of poverty and, behind that, of the strength of class-divisions' Richard Hoggart
Publisher: London : Penguin Books in association with Martin Secker & Warburg, 1989.
ISBN: 9780141185293
Branch Call Number: 305.56209428 Orw
Characteristics: xv, 214 pages, 32 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 20 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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