Bomber County

by Daniel Swift

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Longlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2011.

 

Longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award 2010.

The author’s grandfather flew a Lancaster bomber in the Second World War and was shot down on a mission to Holland. The author looks in to the history of these raids but as a literature teacher is also interested in why the WWII did not seem to produce poetic works such as those of  Owen and Sassoon from the first. An interesting alternative look at this period of history.

Bomber County Synopsis

In early June 1943, James Eric Swift, a pilot with 83 Squadron of the Royal Air Force, boarded his Lancaster bomber for a night raid on Munster and disappeared. Aerial bombardment was to the Second World War what the trenches were to the First: a shocking and new form of warfare, wretched and unexpected, and carried out at a terrible scale of loss. Just as the trenches produced the most remarkable poetry of the First World War, so too did the bombing campaigns foster a haunting set of poems during the Second. In researching the life of his grandfather, Daniel Swift became engrossed in the connections between air war and poetry. Ostensibly a narrative of the author's search for his lost grandfather through military and civilian archives and in interviews conducted in the Netherlands, Germany and England, Bomber County is also an examination of the relationship between the bombing campaigns of the Second World War and poetry, an investigation into the experience of bombing and being bombed, and a powerful reckoning with the morals and literature of a vanished moment.

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9780241144176
Publication date: 05/08/2010
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback

Book Information

ISBN: 9780241144176
Publication date: 5th August 2010
Author: Daniel Swift
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd an imprint of Penguin Books Ltd
Format: Hardback
Genres: Debuts of the Month, eBook Favourites, History,
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About Daniel Swift

Daniel Swift was born in 1977. His essays, profiles and reviews have appeared in the Financial Times magazine, the New York Times Book Review and the Daily Telegraph, and he teaches in the Department of English Literature at Skidmore College in upstate New York. This is his first book.

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