The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945

The Flyer: British Culture and the Royal Air Force, 1939-1945

by Martin Francis
     
 

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Between 1939 and 1945, the British public was spellbound by the martial endeavours and dashing style of the young men of the RAF, especially those with silvery fabric wings sewn above the breast pocket of their glamorous slateblue uniform. Martin Francis provides the first scholarly study of the place of 'the flyer' in British culture during the Second World War.

Overview

Between 1939 and 1945, the British public was spellbound by the martial endeavours and dashing style of the young men of the RAF, especially those with silvery fabric wings sewn above the breast pocket of their glamorous slateblue uniform. Martin Francis provides the first scholarly study of the place of 'the flyer' in British culture during the Second World War. Examining the lives of RAF personnel, and their popular representation in literary and cinematic texts, he illuminates broader issues of gender, social class, national and racial identities, emotional life, and the creation of a national myth in twentieth-century Britain. In particular, Francis argues that the flyer's relationship to fear, aggression, loss of his comrades, bodily dismemberment, and psychological breakdown reveals broader ambiguities surrounding the dominant understanding of masculinity in the middle decades of the century.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Francis approaches his subjects with respect and admiration for their achievements. His book is a welcome and intellectually honest attempt to examine the image of the airmen in British popular culture of World War II." —Europe: Early Modern and Modern

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199602292
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
07/01/2011
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Meet the Author

Martin Francis was educated at the universities of Manchester and Oxford. He has published widely on a variety of aspects of twentieth-century British history. After holding several positions in the United Kingdom, notably at Royal Holloway, University of London, since 2003 he has been the inaugural Henry R. Winkler Associate Professor of History at the University of Cincinnati.

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