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The New Survey of London Life and Labour

Nature volume 127, pages 430432 (21 March 1931) | Download Citation



THIS continuation of Charles Booth's Survey of London, of forty years ago, has everything to commend it. The new editor-in-chief, Sir Hubert Llewellyn Smith, quotes very aptly from Charles Booth on his title page: “Comparisons with the past are absolutely necessary to the comprehension of all that exists to-day; without them we cannot penetrate to the heart of things”. The original Survey, which began to appear in 1889, was the work of one rich, enlightened, and benevolent man. It has now been taken up again by a combination of public bodies, centring in the London School of Economics, and under the direction of the sometime Permanent Secretary of the Board of Trade. The change is significant of the vast advance in organisation and socialisation which has taken place in the interval. This introductory volume testifies to many other changes in the life of the people of London; and the pleasantest thought, after reading it, is that, on the whole and in almost every measurable aspect, the people of London are better off than when Charles Booth first surveyed them.

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