Barbara Mader's Reviews > The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940

The First Day of the Blitz by Peter Stansky
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's review
Feb 08, 11

bookshelves: wwii
Read in February, 2011

Two and a half stars, lowered due to the redundancy, occasional poor writing, and pronouncements I found pompous, though others may not mind. Already familiar with much of the material, I was most interested in the bits new to me, so I may use the bibliography for further reading.

Redundancy: how many times does he need to say that some of the people were heroic under the stress of the Blitz, and some were not? Ditto that the government underestimated the resulting homelessness that would occur? Etc.

Poor writing: Stransky would, when speaking of various authors living in or near London, refer to their novels or short stories, but would do so in an awkward manner, i.e., mentioning a character's name without any context, irritating to the reader unfamiliar with the material (and there is no reason for the reader to know of these works; they are not well-known.)

Pomposity: Dragging in his views correlating the Blitz to 9/11, multiple times--once would have sufficed. And, not exactly pomposity, but his tendency to say obvious things over and over--how yes, some people behaved such and such a way but others did not. (The government thought the people would react in panic and some did but some didn't. Some people were stoic, some were scared silly. Some people left the city, some did not. Etc. Duh.)

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