『The New Geography of Jobs』
（Enrico Moretti 著）
では今月の1冊目。Enrico Morettiの「The New Geography of Jobs」。平たくいうと、新しい仕事がどこで生まれているのか。地理的に見たイノベーションや従来型の産業に関する考察なんですが、せっかく買ってきても、また邦訳が出ていたという……。経済関係は本当に翻訳が早いですね。とほほ。内容はこんな感じ。
Every year, millions of Chinese and Indian farmers leave their villages and move to sprawling urban centers to work in an ever-growing number of factories. Americans can’t help but observe, with a mix of aw and anxiety, the millions of manufacturing jobs created in those cavernous facilities, the constant flow of goods coming out of them, and the remarkable rise in standard of living that follows. Americans may have forgotten, but not too long ago this was us: our transition from a low-income society to a middle-class society used exactly the same engine — good manufacturing jobs.
In 1946, the year after World War II ended, American families were poor by today’s standards. Infant mortality was high. Salaries and consumption were low. Household appliances like refrigerators and washing machines were rarities. The purchase of new shoes was a major event for most people. Only 2 percent of households had a TV. But over the next three decades, American society experienced one of the most impressive economic transformations in history. Salaries and incomes grew at an astonishing rate. Consumption exploded at all levels of society. An unprecedented sense of affluence and optimism pervaded most parts of the country. By 1975 infant mortality had been cut in half and living standards have doubled. Household appliances had become so cheap that everyone could afford them. Purchasing new shoes became an unremarkable occurrence, and virtually all households owned a TV. In one short generation, America had turned into a middle-class nation.
『Hunters in the Snow』
（Daisy Hildyard 著）
今月の2冊目は、Daisy Hildyardの「Hunters in the Snow」。2014年のサマセット・モーム賞を受賞した作品です。さすがに邦訳はまだ出ていない。ありがたやー。こちらはなくなったおじいさんの家を訪ねた孫娘が、書きかけの本を見つけるという話で、その内容は、エドワード4世、ピョートル大帝、アメリカ人奴隷、それにキッチナー卿を主人公とし、時代を超えた小説とも、学術書とも言えなくもない物語です。少しだけ「スローターハウス５」を思い出すところもあります。こんな感じ。
My grandfather’s name was Thomas James Thompson, but he was known to everyone as Jimmy, and we still called the room in the porch Jimmy’s study, despite the fact that a year had passed since his death. His study was the first room in the house: a single approach ran from the York road along half a mile of potholed drive, through ploughed fields and into the stackyard, which was a ridged cement court, and what they called the porch projected over it: a low construction with a slate roof on which a ceramic cat stalked a ceramic single-winged bird. My grandfather told me that he had bought these figures, but I do not know how the bird lost its wing. Perhaps a slipped tile or a storm. This entrance to the house was the front entrance but it was known as the back door, while the door at the rear of the house — neat, white, porticoed and opened only occasionally to the lawn — was known as the front door on the instruction of my grandmother Liv, whose sheepskin coat still hung on a hook by the door. As a child I imagined that this fleece, which Liv wore for foddering, was supposed to let her pass unnoticed among the sheep. I had seen the men disguising orphaned lambs, and saw no reason why the principle shouldn’t apply to my grandmother.