intellectualism, calls ‘the sacred sisters’ Thesis, Antithesis and Synthesis.
What I feel, in sum, is that this book, more perhaps than any that the Left Book Club has issued, clarifies—for me at least—the whole meaning and purpose of the Club. On the one hand we have to go out and rouse the apathetic by showing them the utter vileness which Mr Orwell lays bare in the first part of the book, and by appealing to the decency which is in them; on the other hand we have so to equip ourselves by thought and study that we run no danger, having once mobilised all this good will, of seeing it dispersed for lack of trained leaders—lance corporals as well as generals—or even of seeing it used as the shock troops of our enemies.
Walter Greenwood, Tribune
12 March 1937, p. 12
Walter Greenwood (1904-74), English novelist and playwright of working-class life, author of Love on the Dole (1933).
This book is an account of a tour made by Mr Orwell in Durham, Yorkshire, Lancashire, South Wales and London. It also provides Mr Orwell with an opportunity to air his views on Socialism, Fascism and the works of some authors.
The first part of the book is a studied account of the conditions of life of the people in the areas mentioned, and it is authentic and first rate.
Mr Orwell has the gift of writing vividly, of creating in the mind’s eye a picture of the scene described. He takes you down a mine and you crouch with him in the narrow galleries; he shows you miners on their knees shovelling coal over their shoulders, and your muscles begin to ache—that is, if the miners he happens to be writing about are lucky enough to be working.