National Service
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National Service : A Generation in Uniform 1945-1963

3.68 (19 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Winner of the Templer Medal and the Wolfson History Prize

Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller

Richard Vinen's National Service is a serious - if often very entertaining - attempt to get to grips with the reality of that extraordinary institution, which now seems as remote as the British Empire itself. With great sympathy and curiosity, Vinen unpicks the myths of the two 'gap years', which all British men who came of age between 1945 and the early 1960s had to fill with National Service.

This book is fascinating to those who endured or even enjoyed their time in uniform, but also to anyone wishing to understand the unique nature of post-war Britain.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 640 pages
  • 128 x 194 x 34mm | 459.99g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0141399805
  • 9780141399805
  • 239,961

Review Text

Vinen's clever and careful book is surely the definitive history. The era of national service now seems like ancient history, but from the routines of the parade ground to the horrors of Korea, Vinen restores it to life with a searching eye for detail and impressive human sympathy Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR
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Review quote

Vinen's clever and careful book is surely the definitive history. The era of national service now seems like ancient history, but from the routines of the parade ground to the horrors of Korea, Vinen restores it to life with a searching eye for detail and impressive human sympathy -- Dominic Sandbrook * Sunday Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR * Written with compassion and insight, Vinen's book brilliantly recreates the atmosphere of postwar Britain -- Tony Barber * Financial Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR * National Service may prove to be the most original social history book of 2014. The book is bigger than its ostensible subject, embracing class, masculinity, sexuality, compliance, rebellion, combat atrocities, petty crime, notions of national identity, group solidarity, the fallibility of memory and what it means to be a man -- Richard Davenport-Hines * Guardian * Vinen has given us the kind of book that every professional historian surely wants to write: not only with a mastery of its voluminous original sources but also a sensitivity to the rich human detail, by turns authoritative, thoughtful, poignant - and funny -- Peter Clarke * Financial Times * I can't recall ever having read so unexpectedly fascinating a book...every single page has something of great interest on it -- Nicholas Lezard * The Guardian *
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About Richard Vinen

Richard Vinen is the author of the highly praised A History in Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century, The Unfree French: Life under the Occupation (published by Penguin) and Thatcher's Britain. He is Professor of History at King's College London.
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Rating details

19 ratings
3.68 out of 5 stars
5 21% (4)
4 47% (9)
3 16% (3)
2 11% (2)
1 5% (1)
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