The People's War
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The People's War : Britain 1939-1945

4.13 (60 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

The Second World War was, for Britain, a 'total war'; no section of society remained untouched by military conscription, air raids, the shipping crisis and the war economy.

In this comprehensive and engrossing narrative Angus Calder presents not only the great events and leading figures but also the oddities and banalities of daily life on the Home Front, and in particular the parts played by ordinary people: air raid wardens and Home Guards, factory workers and farmers, housewives and pacifists. Above all this revisionist and important work reveals how, in those six years, the British people came closer to discarding their social conventions than at any time since Cromwell's republic.

Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys prize in 1970, The People's War draws on oral testimony and a mass of neglected social documentation to question the popularised image of national unity in the fight for victory.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 672 pages
  • 154 x 234 x 50mm | 939.99g
  • PIMLICO
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1 Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0712652841
  • 9780712652841
  • 368,276

Review Text

"A tour de force of historical reconstruction"
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Review quote

"Full of vivid anecdote ... and of epigrammatic flair ... it is a dense, detailed, moving chronicle." -- Richard Eyre * Independent on Sunday * "A tour de force of historical reconstruction" * Sunday Times * "The People's War is more than a salutary iconoclastic analysis of its period and more than an immensely fastidious social history. It is full of vivid anecdote...and of epigrammatic flair... I've read Angus Calder's book several times and passed it on to friends. I've commissioned and directed several plays and films which have been inspired by it. It is a dense, detailed, moving chronicle that I am still unable to read without feeling both nostalgia and pain for the unfulfilled promise of the world I was born into" -- Richard Eyre * Independent on Sunday * "No verdict can I pronounce on The People's War other than, read it" -- Elizabeth Bowen * Spectator * "He has provided an engrossing, beautifully organized book that could provide a valuable education for the post-war generation and a salutary re-education for his elders" -- Phillip French * Financial Times *
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About Angus Calder

Angus Calder was an academic, writer, historian, educator and literary editor, and 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. In 1970 he won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for his seminal work, The People's War. His other books include Revolutionary Empire and The Myth of the Blitz. He died in 2008.
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Rating details

60 ratings
4.13 out of 5 stars
5 37% (22)
4 43% (26)
3 17% (10)
2 3% (2)
1 0% (0)
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