National Affairs: Middletown Revisited

Unemployment in the midst of prosperity has become the most paradoxical and most talked-about aspect of the U.S. economy. Unemployment lingered even after the economy pulled out of the 1957-58 recession, and in the current mild recession, with employment and total personal income at cheeringly high levels, the unemployment total has reached 5,700,000, highest since mid-1941. From Muncie, Ind. (pop. 68,600), the "typical" U.S. community that was the subject of 1929''s pioneering sociological study Middletown, TIME Correspondent Dudley Doust last week went beyond statistics to report the new unemployment in human terms:


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