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And it is an intimate portrait of the Thirties that Gardiner gives us, renowned for the Great Depression, strikes and hunger marches she shows that the Thirties were also a decade of growing wealth and increased leisure - for some at least. With her extensive use of personal accounts, memoir and media reports we hear from the people themselves - from Wigan Pier to Wimbledon, a portrait of a country undergoing huge change, a decade ticking down into yet another fatal World War.
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J.B. Priestley famously described the 'three Englands' he saw in the 1930s: Old England, nineteenth-century England and the new, post-war England. Thirties Britain was, indeed, a land of contrasts, at once a nation rendered hopeless by the Depression, unemployment and international tensions, yet also a place of complacent suburban home-owners with a baby Austin in every garage. Now Juliet Gardiner, acclaimed author of the award-winning Wartime, provides a fresh perspective on that restless, uncertain, ambitious decade, bringing the complex experience of thirties Britain alive through newspapers, magazines, memoirs, letters and diaries. Gardiner captures the essence of a people part-mesmerised by 'modernism' in architecture, art and the proliferation of 'dream palaces', by the cult of fitness and fresh air, the obsession with speed, the growth and regimentation of leisure, the democratisation of the countryside, the celebration of elegance, glamour and sensation. Yet, at the same time, this was a nation imbued with a pervasive awareness of loss -- of Britain's influence in the world, of accepted political, social and cultural signposts, and finally of peace itself.
'The cinematic clarity of Gardiner's descriptions of accidents and ceremonies tells more about the decade than a page of statistics.!or the depth of its research, the quality of the writing and the sheer richness and vibrancy of the material, this is a quite outstanding work of social history'
'It is comfortably the definitive account of a decade that has been much maligned'
'A definitive, vividly detailed book on a complex decade, which is a joy to read'
Reviews for Wartime :
'Juliet Gardiner's Wartime vibrantly captures, through personal accounts and vast research, what Britain was like under the siege, while at the same time giving a clear picture of the wider war in which its servicemen and women fought. She summons up the atmosphere and the emotions of the time vividly' Daily Mail
'It's all here in Juliet Gardiner's ambitious new study of life in wartime Britain. A minor monument of scholarship, this book is big in both size and scope, but biggest of all in terms of sheer exhilarating readability' The Scotsman
Publication date: 03/02/2011
Publisher: HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers
|Publication date:||3rd February 2011|
|Publisher:||HarperPress an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers|
|Genres:||Biography / Autobiography, History,|
|Categories:||20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000,|
Juliet Gardiner was our Guest Editor in October 2010 - click here - to see the books that inspired her writing. Juliet Gardiner is a historian and author. She was editor of History Today, a publisher and academic and since 2001 a full time writer, lecturer and broadcaster both on radio and television. Her most recent books include The 1940s House;The Edwardian Country House; The Penguin Dictionary of British History(ed.); Wartime: Britain 1939-1945; The Thirties:an intimate history; The Blitz: the British under attack. She was the historical consultant on the film version of Ian McEwan’...More About Juliet Gardiner