Publication Year: 2004
Published by: Fordham University Press
Title Page, Copyright Page
Preface to the Fordham University Press Edition
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Granville Hicks saw it coming. “Has any small town a future in this age of industrialism, urbanism, and specialization?” he asks in his classic work of 1946, which examined a town caught in the decline of small-scale society that even back then was well underway...
Granville Hicks: Champion of the Small Town
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Granville Hicks (1901–1982), while best known as an advocate of the small town, was a widely published author, literary critic, and early socialist. After graduating from Harvard University, Hicks married Dorothy Dyer in 1925 and taught briefly at Smith College...
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Because it would be impossible to conceal from any resolute investigator the identity of the town about which this book is written, I have employed only the flimsiest of disguises. If I do not use the name that the town bears on the map, that is to remind...
I: Starting Out From Roxborough
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This was a week, a not unrepresentative week, in the autumn
Sunday was memorable because I finished reading Volume VI of Arnold Toynbee’s Study of History. That, however, was late in the evening, after a day that was for the most part spent out of...
II: The Natural History of an Intellectual
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Of his transposition from Brook Farm and Concord to the Salem Custom House Nathaniel Hawthorne wrote, “I took it in good part, at the hands of Providence, that I was thrown into a position so little akin to my past habits, and set myself seriously to gather...
III: What Came With the House
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When we went farm hunting in the spring of 1932, it was simply a house we were looking for, a house in which we could spend our summers. In a general way we knew what we wanted: privacy, a view, open fields, some woods, perhaps a brook. The house, we...
IV: The Rise and Fall of a Country Town
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This town of ours straddles a range of hills lying between the valley of the Hudson and the valley of the Little Hoosac. Going west from Troy, one climbs steadily and crosses the Roxborough border at an elevation of approximately one thousand feet. The...
V: The Influence of a Ghost
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Prosperity reached Roxborough in the middle forties, but the town didn’t change much. People wore better clothes when they bothered to get dressed up, and there seemed to be more drinking, but it is hard to think of other changes. Of course war conditions...
VI: The Mind of Roxborough
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Public opinion polls contrive to give the impression that as a nation we are in a constant state of agitation over all sorts of domestic and foreign problems. Eighty or ninety or sometimes ninety-nine per cent of the people interviewed are able to say that...
VII: Human Nature, Roxborough Style
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As I have said, nothing gives Roxborough greater satisfaction than a first-class scandal. Some five winters ago we kept hearing that various summer places had been broken into and pillaged. To begin with, gossip was chiefly occupied with the failure of the...
VIII Institutions and People
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People who live together create or adopt or have forced upon them institutions that more or less adequately serve their common needs. On the surface the institutional life of Roxborough is easy to describe. What lies below the surface is a different matter...
IX: The Future of the Town
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The people of Roxborough frequently say—Stan Cutter with enthusiasm, most others with regret—that the town is going back to forest. It is one of the Roxborough stereotypes, this conviction that more and more houses will be abandoned and...
X: The Larger Society
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The kind of socialism that I and my friends believed in back in the twenties rested on nineteenth century humanitarianism and a nineteenth century faith in the human intellect. We had been brought up to believe that a good society was a moral society...
XI: The Burden on the Schools
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If there is one conclusion to be drawn from our investigation of the mind of Roxborough, it is that universal compulsory education hasn’t been a great success. The testimony of the Sole Trustee of Common School District Number One is thus added...
XII: The Duty of the Intellectuals
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As I have said before, a growing awareness of the intellectual’s limitations has not diminished but actually increased my respect for his particular talents. The question is whether these talents are being used to the best advantage of society. Certainly the...
A Granville Hicks Bibliography
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2004