A gentle voice with exacting intelligence mourns England, its living unemployed and its generation of tall, dead men:
Where are the monstrous men with chests like barrels and moustaches like the wings of eagles who strode across my childhood’s gaze twenty or thirty years ago? Buried, I suppose, in the Flanders mud. In their place there are these pale-faced boys .. If the English physique has declined, this is no doubt partly due to the fact that the Great War carefully selected the million best men in England and slaughtered them, largely before they had had time to breed. (p. 98)
But this entire work is a critique that might well have been directed at America, at today’s America, at its unhealthy way of living, its’cheap substitutes for everything’, its ‘tinned food’ which is a ‘deadlier weapon than the machine gun’, its wastage, its UNEMPLOYMENT.
“It is usually impossible to buy wholemeal bread in a working-class district.” .. the working class palate now rejects good food almost automatically. The number of people who prefer tinned peas and tinned fish to real peas and real fish must be increasing every year, and plenty of people who could afford real milk in their tea would much sooner have gtinnerd milk, even that dreadful tinned milk which is made of sugar and cornflour and has UNFIT FOR BABIES on the tin in huge letters.