Bluenose's Reviews > Wartime Britain 1939-1945

Wartime Britain 1939-1945 by Juliet Gardiner
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Jul 27, 10

This big book (692 pages) focuses on life in Britain during the war – a fairly straightforward subject it would seem but how to distill official, contemporary and personal accounts of a fast moving, supremely disruptive time? Gardner does it by gathering her facts under headings of crucial points in time and categories of experience using a formidable array of sources. The reader feels the terror of the blitz and the grinding want of wartime existence.

Wartime is not a history of the war, not even a history of the war in Britain but an account of what it was like to live during the war in Britain whether you were a serviceman, conscientious objector, housewife, prisoner of war, factory worker, child, artist, criminal, Italian, Irish. All encompassing is a fitting description.

Death, dismemberment and forced dislocation were just some of the indignities that Britons faced on a daily basis – and if it didn’t happen to them it happened to someone they knew. This book shows, as no other I have read, how they survived, collectively and individually, the insanity.
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