The nineteenth century was the era of the massive expansion of the middle
classes. This became a global phenomenon and the ‘bourgeoisification’ of the
world called into being a whole range of institutions that were being
created contemporaneously in Britain itself. These included libraries,
museums, clubs, markets, banks, commercial buildings, hotels, theatres and
cinemas. The new technologies of the age were served by striking buildings,
including dockside waiting rooms, railway stations and posts and telegraph
offices. Railway stations spread across almost the entire empire and
introduced new issues of class and racial zoning. Posts and telegraphs were
representative of the new communications of the era and often stimulated the
building of exceptionally impressive structures to represent their
centrality in the new imperial age.
In this chapter, the author, through a family history, speaks of how forced exile persists through generations. He narrates the series of events that took place after he left England and moved to United States, including the catastrophic failures of nuclear reactors. The discussion largely focuses on the incidence of cancers caused by exposure to radioactivity in England, and the impact it had on Anglo-American relations. The author also showcases the differences between English and American cultures.
In this chapter, the author discusses the cultural life in Rochester, New York, in the 1920s. The city of the 1920s is often referred to as 'Mr Eastman's town'. Economically, the first three decades of the twentieth century had been described as Rochester's golden age, and the centrality of Eastman-Kodak to the city's prosperity had important cultural consequences. The establishment by George Eastman of the Eastman School of Music and the Eastman Theatre in 1922 was the single most important event marking the 'end of provincialism'. The 'Rochester Renaissance' owed a lot to Eastman's wealth and philanthropy .
In this chapter, the author explains the internment of aliens in Britain during the Second World War. The 'internment of aliens' is a peculiar and rather hysterical measure taken by the British government after Dunkirk. The author describes his father as an alien. He is alien to Britain and to English culture. He came to Britain from Germany in February 1938, was a class C 'enemy alien' (recognised as a genuine refugee, and officially designated a 'friendly' enemy alien). The classifications were made by wartime tribunals set up in Britain in 1939.