We Are At War
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We Are At War : The Diaries of Five Ordinary People in Extraordinary Times

3.98 (181 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

Of all the accounts written about the Second World War, none are more compelling than the personal diaries of those who lived through it. We Are At War is the story of five everyday folk, who, living on the brink of chaos, recorded privately on paper their most intimate hopes and fears.

Pam Ashford, a woman who keeps her head when all around are losing theirs, writes with comic genius about life in her Glasgow shipping office. Christopher Tomlin, a writing-paper salesman for whom business is booming, longs to be called up like his brother. Eileen Potter organises evacuations for flea-ridden children, while mother-of-three Tilly Rice is frustrated to be sent to Cornwall. And Maggie Joy Blunt tries day-by-day to keep a semblance of her ordinary life.

Entering their world as they lived it, each diary entry is poignantly engrossing. Amid the tumultuous start to the war, these ordinary British people are by turns apprehensive and despairing, spirited and cheerful - and always fascinatingly, vividly real.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 448 pages
  • 126 x 196 x 30mm | 258.55g
  • Ebury Press
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New edition
  • Illustrations facsims., ports.
  • 0091903874
  • 9780091903879
  • 223,471

Back cover copy

We Are At War is the story of five everyday folk who, at the brink of chaos, recorded privately on paper their most intimate hopes and fears.

Pam Ashford writes with comic genius about life in her Glasgow shipping office. Christopher Tomlin, a writing-paper salesman, longs to be called up like his brother. Eileen Potter organises evacuations for flea-ridden children, while mother-of-three Tilly Rice is frustrated to be sent to Cornwall. And Maggie Joy Blunt tries day-to-day to keep a semblance of her ordinary life.

Entering their world as they lived it, we find these ordinary British people are by turns apprehensive and despairing, spirited and cheerful - and always fascinatingly, vividly real.
show more

Review Text

"Fascinating, delightful, illuminating. The diarists soon become like old friends ... and make our wartime past seem no more distant than yesterday"
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Review quote

"Wonderful stuff" * Sunday Times * "Fascinating, delightful, illuminating. The diarists soon become like old friends ... and make our wartime past seem no more distant than yesterday" * Mail on Sunday * "It's always easy to imagine people in this period becalmed in a sepia-toned limbo. This book tells the messy, but far more interesting, truth" * Time Out * "Few books have so successfully stepped inside the minds of the British people during wartime" * Metro * "A fascinating account of everyday life in Britain" * Good Housekeeping *
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About Simon Garfield

Simon Garfield is the author of ten highly acclaimed books of non-fiction including Mauve, The Error World and The Wrestling. His edited diaries from the Mass Observation Archive - Our Hidden Lives, We Are at War and Private Battles - provided unique insights into the Second World War and its aftermath, and his study of AIDS in Britain, The End of Innocence, won the Somerset Maugham Prize.
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Rating details

181 ratings
3.98 out of 5 stars
5 30% (54)
4 45% (81)
3 20% (36)
2 5% (9)
1 1% (1)
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