Private Battles: Our Intimate Diaries: How the War Almost Defeated Us

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9780091910761: Private Battles: Our Intimate Diaries: How the War Almost Defeated Us

Hundreds of books have been published on the Second World War, yet rarely do we read anything new. Now, in Private Battles - as we follow four ordinary young people telling the story of how we barely survived the war - we have one of the most refreshing and original takes on the period ever published. Readers of Our Hidden Lives and We Are At War will be familiar with two of the diarists: Maggie Joy Blunt, the perceptive but frustrated young writer living alone near Slough, and Pam Ashford, the shipping clerk in Glasgow writing of office life as if it were an episode of The Archers, even when she starts working for the Americans. The two new diarists are equally engrossing: Edward Stebbing, a 20-year-old discharged soldier living with a stern landlady in Essex; and Larry du Parc, a research chemist from Hertfordshire, father of two children and proposer of several unique scientific ways to beat the Nazis. Private Battles turns much of the traditional view of Britain's war effort on its head. Churchill does not emerge as the universally popular wartime figure; and the country is not a fit and streamlined unit ready to fend off any foe. The challenges and struggles of the writers' own small battles give a startlingly immediate impression of what life was really like for British civilians during the Second World War.

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From the Publisher:

The true story of how the ordinary people of Britain won the Second World War - and of how they almost didn't - by the bestselling author of Our Hidden Lives

From the Back Cover:

'We do things gradually in Britain. For instance, there was tremendous and gloomy speculation when the petrol cut was first instituted. "What shall we do without a car?"........ But in six months time we shall be doing without our car, just as we are doing without bananas, grapefruit, butter, jam, stockings. Gradually we discover that we are doing with less or without. Local policeman came in for a cold Horlicks. Four ducks were stolen from a house near his last night. People, he says, are helping themselves liberally to small items - his neighbour's chickens, washing etc. One woman had her joint taken from the oven while helping another to hang out her washing.' Maggie Joy Blunt, 1942

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