This book uses literary evidence to illustrate some of the main political and social developments of the 1930s and is intended for students of both literature and history. For the former, it places literary texts of the 1930s in the context of contemporary political and social events. For the latter, it attempts to show how the study of history can be enriched by the work of poets, novelists, essayists and autobiographers. Among the many authors discussed are Auden, Spender, MacNeice, Day lewis, Orwell, Powell and Waugh. Main topics covered include poverty and unemployment, communism and pacifism, the Spanish Civil War and the events leading to the Second World War.