The Thirties: An Intimate History

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9780007240760: The Thirties: An Intimate History

Acclaimed author of 'Wartime', Juliet Gardiner, brings to life the long-neglected decade of the twentieth century – the 1930s.

J.B. Priestley famously described the 'three Englands' he saw in the 1930s: Old England, nineteenth-century industrial England and the new, post-war England. Thirties Britain was a land of contrasts, at once a nation rendered hopeless by the global 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.

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Review:

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

From the Author:

The Thirties: An intimate History started life under another name `Sitting on a Jigsaw', and that's how I think of the 1930s still: a fascinating series of pieces, that it's hard to fit together. Mass unemployment, hunger marches and slum dwellings alongside growing prosperity, glamour, swing, glitzy shops, modernist architecture, an obsession with speed. There was a passionate belief in a brave new world that science and progressive politics could bring about, and yet fascism and communism and ultimately war were also the reality. I have always found the Thirties an endlessly fascinating decade, and the only way to bring them to life was to write an intimate history, following the complex experiences of as many British people as possible as they lived through those complex pre war years.

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Gardiner, Juliet
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Gardiner, Juliet
Published by HarperPress (2010)
ISBN 10: 0007240767 ISBN 13: 9780007240760
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