The Myth of the Blitz

The Myth of the Blitz


By (author) Angus Calder

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  • Publisher: PIMLICO
  • Format: Paperback | 320 pages
  • Dimensions: 152mm x 228mm x 26mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 1 May 1996
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0712698205
  • ISBN 13: 9780712698207
  • Illustrations note: 41 b&w photographs
  • Sales rank: 290,566

Product description

The Myth of the Blitz was nurtured at every level of society. It rested upon the assumed invincibility of an island race distinguished by good humour, understatement and the ability to pluck victory from the jaws of defeat by team work, improvisation and muddling through. In fact, in many ways, the Blitz was not like that. Sixty-thousand people were conscientious objectors; a quarter of London's population fled to the country; Churchill and the royal family were booed while touring the aftermath of air-raids; Britain was not bombed into classless democracy. Angus Calder provides a compelling examination of the events of 1940 and 1941 - when Britain 'stood alone' against the Luftwaffe - and of the Myth which sustained her 'finest hour'.

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Author information

Angus Calder is Reader in Cultural Studies and Staff Tutor in Arts with the Open University in Scotland. He read English at Cambridge and received his D. Phil from the School of Social Studies at the University of Sussex. He was Convener of the Scottish Poetry Library when it was founded in 1984. His other books include The People's War (also available from Pimlico) and Revolutionary Empire. He has contributed to many Open University courses, notably on 'The Enlightenment', 'Popular Culture' and 'Literature and the Modern World'.

Review quote

"This is a book written with style, scholarship and compassion, which can only enhance and deepen our understanding of a still critical episode in modern British history" -- Ian S. Wood Scotsman "Disturbing as it may be to those who were there, Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz have to be understood on one level as media events, and this Angus Calder does supremely well" -- John Vincent Sunday Telegraph

Editorial reviews

A radical historian looks at the accepted version of the Anglo-German struggle in 1940-41, early in World War II: when Britain survived air attack from hitherto victorious Germany, and was not invaded after all. Calder shows how the myth was fostered, points out some of the way in which it departs from actual past facts, and concludes that its survival has done some real and lasting good, by helping to break down class barriers: some of which were shattered at the time. (Kirkus UK)