Demobbed: Coming Home After the Second World War

Overview

What happened when millions of British servicemen were “demobbed”—demobilized—after World War II? Most had been absent for years, and the joy of arrival was often clouded with ambivalence, regrets, and fears. Returning soldiers faced both practical and psychological problems, from reasserting their place in the family home to rejoining a much-altered labor force. Civilians worried that their homecoming heroes had been barbarized by their experiences and would bring crime and violence back from the battlefield. ...

See more details below
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $3.21   
  • New (7) from $6.99   
  • Used (7) from $3.20   
Sending request ...

Overview

What happened when millions of British servicemen were “demobbed”—demobilized—after World War II? Most had been absent for years, and the joy of arrival was often clouded with ambivalence, regrets, and fears. Returning soldiers faced both practical and psychological problems, from reasserting their place in the family home to rejoining a much-altered labor force. Civilians worried that their homecoming heroes had been barbarized by their experiences and would bring crime and violence back from the battlefield. Drawing on personal letters and diaries, newspapers, reports, novels, and films, Alan Allport illuminates the darker side of the homecoming experience for ex-servicemen, their families, and society at large—a gripping story that’s in danger of being lost to national memory.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement

“A highly impressive debut, demonstrating great scholarship and an ability to balance the humane detail of fractured lives with a wider perspective of the political and social context … This is a bold attempt to combine the scholarly with the popular and certainly the most insightful text on the 1940s to have appeared this year.”
—Ian Cawood, Times Literary Supplement

— Ian Canwood

BBC History Magazine

“[A] masterful study of the subject … Demobbed is a detailed and sympathetic examination of this difficult story. Making imaginative use of contemporary court and press accounts as well as the holdings of the Imperial War Museum Archive, it outlines the tribulations of a damaged generation, intertwining personal testimony with the author’s thoughtful and cogent analysis … [Demobbed] wears its erudition lightly and has a pleasing, easy style.” BBC History Magazine

The Journal of Military History

"An extremely interesting and lively read which adds greatly to our understanding of the demobilization process."--Mark Connelly, The Journal of Military History

— Mark Connelly

Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award

Winner of the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award, as given by History Today Ltd and the book publishers Longman Pearson Education

— History Today Ltd and the book publishers Longman Pearson Education

Times Literary Supplement - Ian Canwood

“A highly impressive debut, demonstrating great scholarship and an ability to balance the humane detail of fractured lives with a wider perspective of the political and social context … This is a bold attempt to combine the scholarly with the popular and certainly the most insightful text on the 1940s to have appeared this year.”
—Ian Cawood, Times Literary Supplement

Sunday Times - Dominic Sandbrook

“Allport’s wonderfully insightful study asks us to rethink the conventional chronology … It is not only refreshingly free of jargon but remarkably moving. If all academic history were written this way, popular historians would be out of a job.” —Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

David Kynaston

"Wonderfully researched, sensitively written and often very moving, Demobbed tells an important, underappreciated story that still resonates today."—David Kynaston
Peter Mandler

"A wry, humane and eloquent book. Alan Allport shows how demobilized troops, their families and friends, both sought a return to normalcy and at the same time realized that life would never be the same again. Their stories linger into the present day."—Peter Mandler, author of The English National Character

Juliet Gardiner

"A compelling, sobering and thought provoking picture."—Juliet Gardiner, author of Wartime: Britain 1939-45

Peter Hennessy

"This is a special and a powerful book. It brims with scholarship, insight, detail and compassion. It is also very well written. Allport does full justice to a forgotten part of a great generation." - Peter Hennessy

Peter Stansky

"Demobbed is a fascinating work. With many compelling individual stories, Alan Allport plunges us into this often sad and sometimes violent time after the end of the Second World War. It is a powerful tale, wonderfully told." - Peter Stansky, author of The First Day of the Blitz

The Washington Times - Martin Rubin

“Alive with portraits of individuals. . .Demobbed is a juicy slice of life redolent of the peculiar atmosphere and singular situations unique to Britain in the mid-1940s.”--Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

The Journal of Military History - Mark Connelly

"An extremely interesting and lively read which adds greatly to our understanding of the demobilization process."--Mark Connelly, The Journal of Military History
The Journal of Modern History - Chad Martin

"His tone, narrative sense, and command of sources are commendable, and he lays the groundwork for further research. More than contributing a postscript to wartime historiography, this book should be of interest to all historians of twentieth-century Britain."—Chad Martin, The Journal of Modern History
Sunday Times

“Allport’s wonderfully insightful study asks us to rethink the conventional chronology … It is not only refreshingly free of jargon but remarkably moving. If all academic history were written this way, popular historians would be out of a job.” —Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

— Dominic Sandbrook

BBC History Magazine

“[A] masterful study of the subject … Demobbed is a detailed and sympathetic examination of this difficult story. Making imaginative use of contemporary court and press accounts as well as the holdings of the Imperial War Museum Archive, it outlines the tribulations of a damaged generation, intertwining personal testimony with the author’s thoughtful and cogent analysis … [Demobbed] wears its erudition lightly and has a pleasing, easy style.” BBC History Magazine

The Washington Times

“Alive with portraits of individuals. . .Demobbed is a juicy slice of life redolent of the peculiar atmosphere and singular situations unique to Britain in the mid-1940s.”--Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

— Martin Rubin

Sunday Times
Allport’s wonderfully insightful study asks us to rethink the conventional chronology … It is not only refreshingly free of jargon but remarkably moving. If all academic history were written this way, popular historians would be out of a job.” —Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times

— Dominic Sandbrook

The Washington Times
Alive with portraits of individuals. . .Demobbed is a juicy slice of life redolent of the peculiar atmosphere and singular situations unique to Britain in the mid-1940s.”—Martin Rubin, The Washington Times

— Martin Rubin

Read More Show Less

Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780300140439
  • Publisher: Yale University Press
  • Publication date: 2/16/2010
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.20 (h) x 1.40 (d)

Meet the Author


Alan Allport is a postdoctoral lecturer at Princeton University. He lives in Princeton, NJ.
Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Prologue 1

1 Now This Bloody War is Over 13

2 So, You're Back Then 50

3 My Faithless English Rose 81

4 What the Hell Has Happened to This Country? 107

5 Clocking On 133

6 They Made Me a Fugitive 159

7 Something Has Gone Wrong Inside My Head 186

Epilogue 211

Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(0)

4 Star

(0)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

(0)

1 Star

(0)

Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation

Reminder:

  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

 
Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)