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The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind


MR. WELLS writes of himself: “He is attempting a book, a survey of the world, a scheme and map of doing, which will enable him to say to anyone whatever: ‘This is the whole world of work and wealth, of making and getting and spending, and here at this point is your place, and this is where you come in.…’” Seeking Mr. Wells's place in his own scheme, we find that he claims for his book the function of transmitting, correlating, and interpreting for the general mind the essential living thought of the world. In his “Outline of History” and “Science of Life” he attempted this task for history and for biology; now it is the turn of economics and sociology. Mr. Wells holds that mankind's ideology, or system of ideas about life in general, has become dangerously out of date, and out of correspondence with the realities of human affairs, since the “change of scale”, the “abolition of distance”, of the last few decades. He regards as essential for a modern ideology some understanding of world history (as against local, national, and period history), some assimilation of biological ideas, and—most urgently necessary of all—some conception of economic life, industrial processes, trade, and finance. Valiantly he has attempted to supply all three sides of this ideological triangle, and his third compendium, like its forerunners, is a remarkable, stimulating, valuable, and most readable book.

The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind.

By H. G. Wells. Pp. xiii + 850 + 32 plates. (London: William Heinemann, Ltd., 1932.) 10s. 6d. net.

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The Work, Wealth and Happiness of Mankind . Nature 129, 558 (1932).

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