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A sweeping, groundbreaking epic that combines military with social history, to illuminate the ways in which Great Britain and its people were permanently transformed by the Second World War. Here is the many-faceted, world-historically significant story of Britain at war. In looking closely at the military and political dimensions of the conflict, Alan Allport seeks to answer questions such as: Could the war have been avoided? Could it have been lost? Were the strategic decisions the rights ones? How well did the British organize and fight? How well did the British live up to their own values? What difference did the war make in the end to the fate of the nation? In answering these and other essential questions he focuses--unlike many historians--on the human contingencies of the war, looking directly at the roles of individuals and the outcomes determined by luck or chance. Moreover, he looks intimately at the changes in wartime and postwar British society and culture. Whether discussing the mixing of classes during the war or the Labour Party movement, he shows us in great detail the effects of the war, again not only on an institutional, but on an individual level as well. For better or worse, much of Britain today is ultimately the product of the experiences of 1939-1941.
"Britain at Bay" by Spenser Wilkinson. Published by Good Press. Good Press publishes a wide range of titles that encompasses every genre. From well-known classics & literary fiction and non-fiction to forgotten−or yet undiscovered gems−of world literature, we issue the books that need to be read. Each Good Press edition has been meticulously edited and formatted to boost readability for all e-readers and devices. Our goal is to produce eBooks that are user-friendly and accessible to everyone in a high-quality digital format.
More than three-and-a-half million men served in the British Army during the Second World War, the vast majority of them civilians who had never expected to become soldiers and had little idea what military life, with all its strange rituals, discomforts, and dangers, was going to be like. Alan Allport’s rich and luminous social history examines the experience of the greatest and most terrible war in history from the perspective of these ordinary, extraordinary men, who were plucked from their peacetime families and workplaces and sent to fight for King and Country. Allport chronicles the huge diversity of their wartime trajectories, tracing how soldiers responded to and were shaped by their years with the British Army, and how that army, however reluctantly, had to accommodate itself to them. Touching on issues of class, sex, crime, trauma, and national identity, through a colorful multitude of fresh individual perspectives, the book provides an enlightening, deeply moving perspective on how a generation of very modern-minded young men responded to the challenges of a brutal and disorienting conflict.
The second volume of Daniel Todman's account of Great Britain and World War II The second of Daniel Todman's two sweeping volumes on Great Britain and World War II, Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947, begins with the event Winston Churchill called the "worst disaster" in British military history: the Fall of Singapore in February 1942 to the Japanese. As in the first volume of Todman's epic account of British involvement in World War II ("Total history at its best," according to Jay Winter), he highlights the inter-connectedness of the British experience in this moment and others, focusing on its inhabitants, its defenders, and its wartime leadership. Todman explores the plight of families doomed to spend the war struggling with bombing, rationing, exhausting work and, above all, the absence of their loved ones and the uncertainty of their return. It also documents the full impact of the entrance into the war by the United States, and its ascendant stewardship of the war. Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947 is a triumph of narrative and research. Todman explains complex issues of strategy and economics clearly while never losing sight of the human consequences--at home and abroad--of the way that Britain fought its war. It is the definitive account of a drama which reshaped Great Britain and the world.
From one of its keenest observers, a brilliant, witty journey through the "Special Relationship" between Britain and America that has done so much to shape the world, from World War II to Brexit. It's impossible to understand the last 75 years of American history, through to Trump and Brexit, without understanding the Anglo-American relationship, and specifically the bonds between presidents and prime ministers. FDR of course had Churchill; JFK famously had Macmillan, his consigliere during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Reagan found his ideological soul mate in Thatcher, and George W. Bush found his fellow believer, in religion and in war, in Tony Blair. And now, of course, it is impossible to understand the populist uprising in either country, from 2016 to the present, without reference to Trump and Boris Johnson, though ironically, they are also the key to understanding the special relationship's demise. There are few things more certain in politics than that at some point, facing a threat to national security, a leader will evoke Winston Churchill to stand for brave leadership (and Neville Chamberlain to represent craven weakness). As Ian Buruma shows, in his dazzling short tour de force of storytelling and analysis, the mantle has in fact only grown more oppressive as nuanced historical understanding fades and is replaced by shallow myth. Absurd as it is to presume to say what Churchill would have thought about any current event, it's relatively certain he would have been horrified by the Iraq War and Brexit, to name two episodes dense with "Finest Hour" analogizing. But The Churchill Complex is much more than a reflection on the weight of Churchill's legacy and its misuses. At its heart is a series of shrewd and absorbing character studies of the president-prime minster dyads, which in Ian Buruma's gifted hands serve as a master class in politics, diplomacy and abnormal psychology. It's never been a relationship of equals: from Churchill's desperate cajoling and conniving to keep FDR on side in the war on, British prime ministers have put much more stock in the relationship than their US counterparts did. For England, resigned to the loss of its once-great empire and the diminishment of its power, its close kinship to the world's greatest superpower would give it continued relevance, and serve as leverage to keep continental Europe in its place. As Buruma shows, this was almost always fool's gold. And now, even as the links between the Brexit vote and the 2016 US election are coming into sharper focus, the Anglo-American alliance has floundered on the rocks of the isolationism that is one of 2016's signal legacies. The Churchill Complex may not have a happy ending, but as with Ian Buruma's other works, piercing lucidity and elegant prose is its own form of lasting comfort.
Literary representations of British convicts exiled to Australia were the most likely way that the typical English reader would learn about the new colonies there. In Transported to Botany Bay, Dorice Williams Elliott examines how writers—from canonical ones such as Dickens and Trollope to others who were themselves convicts—used the figure of the felon exiled to Australia to construct class, race, and national identity as intertwined. Even as England’s supposedly ancient social structure was preserved and venerated as the “true” England, the transportation of some 168,000 convicts facilitated the birth of a new nation with more fluid class relations for those who didn’t fit into the prevailing national image. In analyzing novels, broadsides, and first-person accounts, Elliott demonstrates how Britain linked class, race, and national identity at a key historical moment when it was still negotiating its relationship with its empire. The events and incidents depicted as taking place literally on the other side of the world, she argues, deeply affected people’s sense of their place in their own society, with transnational implications that are still relevant today.
In 1763 British America stretched from Hudson Bay to the Keys, from the Atlantic to the Mississippi. Using maps that Britain created to control its new lands, Max Edelson pictures the contested geography of the British Atlantic world and offers new explanations of the causes and consequences of Britain’s imperial ambitions before the Revolution.
The perfect new gift from the bestselling author of Britain's 1000 Best Churches It is the scene for our hopeful beginnings and our intended ends, and the timeless experiences of coming and going, meeting, greeting and parting. It is an institution with its own rituals and priests, and a long-neglected aspect of Britain's architecture. And yet so little do we look at the railway station. Simon Jenkins has travelled the length and breadth of Great Britain, from Waterloo to Wemyss Bay, Betws-y-Coed to Beverley, to select his hundred best. Blending his usual insight and authority with his personal reflections and experiences - including his founding the Railway Heritage Trust - the foremost expert on our national heritage deftly reveals the history, geography, design and significance of each of these glories. Beautifully illustrated with colour photographs throughout, this joyous exploration of our social history shows the station's role in the national imagination; champions the engineers, architects and rival companies that made them possible; and tells the story behind the triumphs and follies of these very British creations. These are the marvellous, often undersung places that link our nation, celebrated like never before.