To all such expressions of nostalgia for the "good old days" the best
antidote I know are Chapters 2, "A Problem of Perspective" and 3,
"Pastoral and Counter-Pastoral" in Raymond Williams, _The Country and
the City_. All the way from Leavis back to Hesiod the whine (though
often beautifully expressed) is the same -- something has been lost just
before our time. Oh woe! Oh woe!