This chapter serves as an historiographical introduction to the major themes of the book. It provides a critique of the historiography of the interwar depression and examines the evolution of studies of unemployed protest movements. The case for the value of regional comparative histories as a way of exploring the history of the depression is made. The regions of south Wales and the north-east of England are introduced. One of the purposes of the book is to compare the protests of the unemployed. To this end, the nature of industrialisation, work practices, trade unionism, political culture and gender relations within south Wales and the north-east are compared. The major themes of the work and the importance of examining the means test are outlined.
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