Books: Notes from a Black Country

THE ROAD TO WIGAN PIER (264 pp.)—George Orwell — Harcourt, Brace ($4.50).

George Orwell was a pilgrim who hated progress and found an empty shrine at the end of a blind alley called socialism. Famed British Critic V.S. Pritchett has called him "the conscience of his generation." An extremely troubled conscience it was, and Orwell's The Road to Wigan Pier does much to explain why.

First issued in 1937 and now published for the first time in the U.S., Orwell's book, like James Agee's Let Us Now Praise Famous Men, has become a period...

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