London At War, 1939-1945

London At War, 1939-1945

Book - 1995
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Blackwell North Amer
This is the story of London at war from 1939 to 1945, or perhaps of Londoners at war - for Philip Ziegler, best known as a biographer, is above all fascinated by the people who found their lives so suddenly and violently transformed: the querulous, tiresome, yet strangely gallant housewife from West Hampstead; the turbulent, left-wing, retired schoolmaster from Walthamstow, always standing up to the authorities; the odiously snobbish middle-class woman from Kensington, sneering at the 'scum' who took shelter in the Underground; the typist from Fulham; the plumber from Woolwich. It was their war every bit as much as it was Churchill's or the King's, and this is their story.
Through a wealth of interviews and unpublished letters and diaries, as well as innumerable books and newspapers, the author has built up a dazzling portrait of an entire population under siege. There were cowards, there were criminals, there were incompetents, but what emerges from these pages is above all a record - in story after story - of astonishing patience, dignity and humour. 'I hope,' Ziegler writes, 'we will never have to endure again what they went through between 1939 and 1945. I hope, if we did, that we would conduct ourselves as well.'

Publisher: Toronto Alfred A. Knopf Canada 1995
ISBN: 9780394280486
0394280482
Characteristics: 372p

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