Britain and 1940: History,Myth and Popular Memory / Edition 1

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Overview

1940 was the most significant year in European history this century. For Britain it was 'the finest hour', the beginning of the People's War. Britain and 1940 explores what the year meant for the people of Britain then and now.

Covering the pre-history of 1940 in Britain, Malcolm Smith explores the great fear that a second world war would perhaps mean the end of British civilization and charts the development of the myths of Dunkirk, the Battle of Britain and the Blitz, and the great influence they have had on our national consciousness and on attitudes to the outside world.

The book presents students of British history with a panorama of the influences that have constructed national consciousness around a crucial moment in British history.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
Opining that the experience of 1940 was "the one genuinely heroic moment in twentieth-century British history," Smith (history, Lampeter) describes the evolution of the pre-war myth<-->in the sense of a widely-held view of the past rather than a cultural lie<--> of the "people's war" that the English held about impending World War II; treats the political and popular culture reinforcement of this myth during the Blitz; and traces the legacy of what the war has come to mean at home and abroad to the present. Illustrations feature film and newspaper images of the war. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780415240765
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis
  • Publication date: 1/28/2001
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Malcolm Smith is Senior Lecturer and Chair of History at the University of Wales, Lampeter. He teaches in the field of War Studies and British popular culture and his previous publications include British Politics, Society and the State (Macmillan, 1990).

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. The Projection of War, 1919-1939 3. To Dunkirk 4. Invasion and the Battle of Britain 5. The Blitz 6. Wartime Politics and Popular Culture 7. Refighting the War: Attlee to Blair 8. America, Europe and the World 9. Conclusions 10. Bibliography
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