South Wales was the sight of one of the last expansions of the Industrial Revolution in Britain. From 1880 onwards it competed - in terms of economic and population growth and sheer dynamic modernity - with any comparable area in the world. By the 1920s it was labelled "American Wales" and this book treats the culture of South Wales within that global framework. Above all, close attention is paid to the life and times of Aneurin Bevan as its finest exemplar. The chapters that frame the central part on Bevan, present his world through its novelists and its boxers, its heroes and its unsung, its rugby glory and its social strife.