from a man who clearly understood the framework in which his life developed. The book is full of vivid, perceptive insights often accompanied by pathos and humour. The only weak points are sections which are not representative of this but rather dwell in abstract meandering or simplistic views of modern society "prisons are scrupulously clean, warm, snug and healthy places". The impact of the book is extremely powerful. Experiences of work: "I left the house at 6 a.m. returned home never earlier than 5 p.m. I returned home dirty, hungry, thirsty and over-tired" or the contrast between life at Ruskin and its aftermath "walks at dusk along the banks of the Isis a boat trip up the Cherwell eventually I was offered a place I had to work for nine hours a day lying on my side". Other features of mining are vividly portrayed "My butty and I were at our work in the coalface when suddenly with a terrific roar like rolling thunder we saw our road six feet high and ten foot wide filled from floor to roof with raging fire coming toward us". Despite this Stonelake writes: "I was happy because in those days a miner enjoyed his liberty each collier had his own working place in much the same way as an allotment holder had his own plot." Stonelake's political commitment came from the political, economic and social injustice all around late 19th century Wales. Many of the issues could be tackled head on at local level -"a community where local government seemed of far greater importance than parliamentary matters" (Councillor P. Squire's Foreword). Stonelake's career began young and covered a vast range of political, social and economic issues. He is not without misgiving- "the first call was to my public work my wife enduring it without protest." One emotion to power through the book is love for the family. The book is very important because it is one of the few which looks at a political movement that has dominated south Wales for much of the twentieth century. In many ways Stonelake is representative of the Labour party in south Wales cautious, conservative (within the spectrum of socialist politics). Stonelake was a staunch trade unionist, he opposed unofficial action, loathed ideas of a general strike. He