Caroline's Reviews > Blitz the British Under Attack

Blitz the British Under Attack by Juliet Gardiner
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's review
Apr 11, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: british-history, world-war-2
Read from April 05 to 10, 2012

I've read several of Gardiner's books before, and this one doesn't disappoint. She has a very readable style and manages to strike a good balance between the broad picture and the intimate details of people's lives. The Blitz was obviously had an enormous impact across the nation, but what really brings it home are the small details of individuals - the mothers and children sheltering in the Tube stations, the old ladies in their Victorian bonnets bombed out of their home, the fire wardens stationed in St Paul's.

She also focuses not just on the physical impacts of the bombing, although it is incredible to read of the sheer physical destruction - being myself born over forty years after the Blitz it's hard to appreciate the scale of it - but the emotional and psychological impacts. The 'Blitz spirit' is such a cornerstone of the British mythical view of ourselves, so it's interesting to read about the reality - which was that people did get discouraged, people did get hysterical, people did get angry and frustrated and defeated, but such feelings were usually temporary and mostly served in the long run to strengthen people's determination that Hitler would not win.

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