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Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War

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9780141026107: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War
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The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system.

The British, indeed Churchillian, vision of war and modernity was challenged by repeated defeat by less well equipped enemies. Yet the end result was a vindication of this vision. Like the United States, a powerful Britain won a cheap victory, while others paid a great price. Britain's War Machine, by putting resources, machines and experts at the heart of a global rather than merely imperial story, demolishes some of the most cherished myths about wartime Britain and gives us a very different and often unsettling picture of a great power in action

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Review:

Brilliant and thought-provoking ... There are moments of edgy humour, too ... This remarkable book shows that whatever the reasons for the length of time it took to bring Hitler to heel, the quantity and quality of British war material was not among them (Brendan Simms Sunday Telegraph)

Edgerton's book is a remarkable achievement. He re-envisions Britain's role in World War II and with it Britain's place in modernity. In place of a plucky island standing alone, he gives us a global empire of machines, not a welfare state, but a technocratic warfare state. The period will never look the same again (Adam Tooze, author of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy)

Consistently lively, stimulating and authoritative (Observer)

Absolutely fascinating. This book will make you think differently about Britain's role in the Second World War (Laurence Rees, author of Auschwitz: The Nazis and The 'Final Solution')

This book has certainly changed my views ... It is a necessary and timely corrective to a great deal of loosely thought-through conventional wisdom, and makes a real contribution to our understanding of the war (Richard Holmes Literary Review)

For too long we have had a distorted view of Britain's position and role in the Second World War. David Edgerton has produced a stunning book that rectifies this misconception, and which is told with authority, clarity and compelling energy (James Holland, author of The Battle of Britain)

An important corrective to the black-and-white portrait of the period that still prevails (Financial Times)

A stimulating exercise in muscular revisionism ... Offers a fresh and provocative view of our much-loved and much-misunderstood "finest hour" (David Reynolds Guardian)

Accessibly written and deserves a wide audience. Above all, Edgerton demonstrates that the war is a subject we haven't yet heard nearly enough about. Britain's War Machine is a considerable achievement (Graham Farmelo Times Higher Education)

Edgerton has excelled himself with this highly revisionist account of Britain's national performance during the Second World War ... an unusually provocative book (Twentieth Century British History, 2011)

About the Author:

David Edgerton is Hans Rausing Professor at Imperial College London, where he was the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is the author of a sequence of groundbreaking books on 20th century Britain: England and the Aeroplane: An Essay on a Militant and Technological Nation; Science, Technology and the British Industrial 'Decline', 1870-1970; and Warfare State: Britain, 1920-1970. He is also the author of the iconoclastic and brilliant The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780199832675: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources, and Experts in the Second World War

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ISBN 10: 0199832676 ISBN 13: 9780199832675
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA, 2011
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9780713999181: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War

Allen ..., 2011
Hardcover

9780141986234: Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War

Penguin, 2016
Softcover

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. repr. Language: English. Brand new Book. GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEARThe familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system.The British, indeed Churchillian, vision of war and modernity was challenged by repeated defeat by less well equipped enemies. Yet the end result was a vindication of this vision. Like the United States, a powerful Britain won a cheap victory, while others paid a great price. Britain's War Machine, by putting resources, machines and experts at the heart of a global rather than merely imperial story, demolishes some of the most cherished myths about wartime Britain and gives us a very different and often unsettling picture of a great power in action. Seller Inventory # FOY9780141026107

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: New. repr. Language: English. Brand new Book. GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEARThe familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system.The British, indeed Churchillian, vision of war and modernity was challenged by repeated defeat by less well equipped enemies. Yet the end result was a vindication of this vision. Like the United States, a powerful Britain won a cheap victory, while others paid a great price. Britain's War Machine, by putting resources, machines and experts at the heart of a global rather than merely imperial story, demolishes some of the most cherished myths about wartime Britain and gives us a very different and often unsettling picture of a great power in action. Seller Inventory # FOY9780141026107

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Book Description Paperback. Condition: new. Paperback. The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might alone. David Edgerton's compelling new book destroys this myth, revealing Britain as a wealthy colossus, sitting at the heart of a vast global production system, building arms in huge factories over the world, and inventing ever-more ingenious weapons. It was, he shows, a country ready to wage a war of machines - and to win it. 'Brilliant and thought-provoking . . . remarkable.' Brendan Simms, Sunday Telegraph 'Opinionated, iconoclastic . . . this book has changed my views.' Richard Holmes, Literary Review 'Lively, stimulating and authoritative.' Ben Shephard, Observer 'Absolutely fascinating. This book will make you think differently about Britain's role in the Second World War.' Laurence Rees, author of Auschwitz- The Nazis and The 'Final Solution 'A stunning book, told with authority, clarity and compelling energy.' James Holland, author of The Battle of Britain 'The period will never look the same again.' Adam Tooze, author of The Wages of Destruction The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. This title shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780141026107

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