We have given the high lights of business prosperity, and inquired into the question of why it came. Now we turn our attention to the specific goods and services delivered to the ultimate consumer during the period, in an attempt to determine in some detail what has been happening to living standards.

Middletown stands in one of the North East Central states, well within the borders of the prosperous area. It is a city of some 40,000, a brisk manufacturing center surrounded by corn fields. It is not a one-industry town but makes automobile accessories, glass, and metal products. Native white Americans of native parentage compose 85 per cent of the population. It comes as close to an average sample of urban American life as one can find.

For this reason, Robert and Helen Lynd made Middletown the basis of a very exhaustive survey. They sought to find out what a typical American community was like; how it got its living, made its homes, trained its young; how it played, worshiped, engaged in community activities. Their book throws a great shaft of light on the tangible results of prosperity. While important changes have taken place since


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Prosperity: Fact or Myth


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