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In the age of material crises of rural areas, worries about environmental damage and factory farming, urban people's attitudes to the countryside have changed. Rural areas are still seen as places to roam and to enjoy, yet modern agriculture also causes anxieties about the land and its products. Alun Howkins's thorough survey is a social history of rural England and Wales in the 20th century. He examines the impact of World War I, the role of agriculture throughout the century, and the expectations of the countryside that modern urban people harbour. Howkins analyses the role of rural England as a place for work as well as leisure, and the problems caused by these often conflicting roles.