Title: Journey down a Rainbow
Publisher: Harper & Brothers, New York
Publication Date: 1955
Book Condition: Good
Dust Jacket Condition: Damaged
Photo of actual book by bookseller. Previous owners name and nameplate inside front cover, otherwise very tidy copy. Dust wrapper is torn and worn and tanned, but intact. In 1954, J.B. Priestley and Jacquetta Hawkes, who had married the previous year, took a kind of literary honeymoon: the result, this book, Journey down a Rainbow (1955). In this perceptive, entertaining book a distinguished novelist and his Archaeologist wife explore and contrast the oldest and the newest ways of life in the American southwest. The couple wanted to explore the impact of technology on society. A visit to the South-West United States would allow them to contrast the people of the pueblos in New Mexico, who still preserved ¿much of their ancient culture ¿ living more or less as they always did¿ , with Texans, ¿the latest men¿, living in the most technologically advanced society which represented ¿a pattern to which all our urban Western civilisation is beginning to conform¿. The Priestleys travelled together to Kansas City, then went their separate ways, he to Dallas, she to Alberquerque. Jacquetta explored the remaining pueblo society of New Mexico, Priestley to the booming Texas of Cold War, oil, and mass markets. The book reproduces their letters, with chapters alternating between their experiences. Jacquetta had the better time: her strong visual sense delighted in pottery and weaving, her love of the deep past responded to the power of the cave sites and ritual dancing. J.B. did not find his trip as congenial. However, it did draw out some of his most significant writing of the 1950s, as he described what he called Admass i.e. consumer society: materialism driven by mass communications, advertising and salesmanship, at its most obvious in the places he visited. Jacquetta too contrasted the frenzy of unnecessary shopping in New York with the moving experience in a museum of seeing beautiful woven patterns created from dog hairs by a prehistoric woman, ¿living as humbly as a badger¿. Bookseller Inventory # 003693
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