Hard Times, continued

Just arrived: Hard Times: The Divisive Toll of the Economic Slump, by Tom Clark with Anthony Heath. It’s the fruit of a research project that ran from 2007-2012 in the US and UK, documenting the social effects of unemployment, foreclosure, increasing inequality. The researchers asked people in certain communities to keep diaries, which are combined here with data, interviews, and more conventional academic description. It looks a good companion, albeit totally different in style, to The Unwinding (wonderful book – I reviewed it here) – although without having read this one, I wonder how the US/UK comparison will work, given how different the two countries are.

As an aside, Hard Times is one of the few Charles Dickens novels I enjoyed – aversion therapy in the form of school English lessons put me off the better known ones like Great Expectations. I did much better with the ones I read myself, A Tale of Two Cities being by far his best.

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