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Wigan Pier Revisited: Poverty and Politics in the 80s

Beatrix Campbell

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Prose: non-fiction, Political ideologies

A brilliant expos of poverty and politics in Britain.

In 1937 George Orwell published The Road to Wigan Pier, an account of his famous 'urban ride' among the people and places of the Great Depression. Fifty years later we lived through a second Great Depression, and this time the journey north was made by a woman - like Orwell a journalist and a socialist, but, unlike him, working class and a feminist.

Wigan Pier Revisited is a devastating record of what Beatrix Campbell saw and heard in towns and cities ravaged by poverty and unemployment. She talked to young mothers on the dole, to miners and their families, to school leavers, battered wives, factory workers, redundant workers; discovered what work, home, family, politics and dignity meant for working-class people. Out of this came her passionate plea for a genuine socialism, one informed by feminism, drawing its strength from the grass roots and responding to people's real needs.

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