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The Great War The People's Story by Izzy Charman

The Great War The People's Story


Sue Baker's view...

Accompanies a major ITV series that will give a “Who Do You Think You Are” view of the First World War by reconstructing the experiences of just a few of the people who had their lives completely changed by the war, people like new recruit Reg Evans and newly weds Alan and Dorothy Lloyd. Good narrative history showing how the war appeared to Everyman and Everywoman.

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Who is Sue Baker


The Great War The People's Story by Izzy Charman

During the First World War just under a million British people died - a figure so huge that it becomes almost meaningless. It feels impossible to give it a human context. Consequently we struggle to truly grasp the impact this devastating conflict must have had on people's day-to-day lives. We resort to looking the war in general terms, treating the events as distant, viewing them in terms of their political or military significance. Our Story is entirely different. Like the all-star ITV series it accompanies, it completely immerses the reader in the everyday experiences of real people who lived through the war. Using letters, diaries, newspapers and parish records - many of which have never been published - Izzy Charman has painstakingly reconstructed the live of people such as separated newly - weds Alan and Dorothy Lloyd, plucky enlisted factory - worker Reg Evans and proudly independent suffragette - sympathizer Kate Parry Frye. Their stories are retold in intimate detail, offering a uniquely personal and powerfully moving account of the conflict. Our Story is both a meticulously - researched piece of narrative history and an incredibly moving remembrance of the extraordinary acts of extremely ordinary people.


Deeply moving, fascinating and powerful. * Sunday Mirror * A handful of people dominate this wonderful book. They are not special or famous but their stories will haunt you for a very long time... Charman's great achievement is to let the people who lived through all this speak for themselves. You will be torn between admiration, pity and anger. * The Herald * This tome lets those who lived through these terrible times tell you how it really was in their own words. From the gung-ho to the fearful, the petty to the practical, the sorrows and the shocks, the pitiful, the heroic, the angry... they put it all down on paper in a way that lets you gauge whether you could have lived through the terror - and be in awe of those who did. * Sunday Sport * This is a deeply sobering, essential read. * Bookbag *

About the Author

Izzy Charman graduated from Bristol University with a first-class honours degree and the George Hare Leonard prize in history. She went on to work in factual documentary production as a writer, researcher, producer and director specializing in twentieth-century historical subjects. Career highlights have included working with Ken Loach on 'Spirit of '45', a documentary about the Atlee government; co-authoring a documentary about the men on the Wiesenthal Centre's 'Most Wanted' list with BAFTA award-winning director Charlie Russell; associate producing the BAFTA award-winning drama-documentary 'Nuremberg: Goering's Last Stand; and writing and directing an acclaimed feature-length BBC documentary about Edward Heath and Harold Wilson. Izzy produced and co-wrote the television series Our Story which accompanies this book. She personally carried out all the original research for it, trawling archives, libraries, museums and homes across Britain for the most vivid first-hand accounts of the war years.

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Book Info

Publication date

31st July 2014


Izzy Charman

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Random House Books an imprint of Cornerstone


528 pages


First World War

20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000



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