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Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941

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9780190621803: Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941
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Great Britain's refusal to yield to Nazi Germany in the Second World War remains one of the greatest survival stories of modern times. Commemorated, evoked, and mythologized as it has been-chiseled and engraved onto countless monuments, the subject of an endless stream of books and films-its triumphant outcome was by no means predetermined. In December 1940, months after war was declared, the director of plans at the War Office in London was asked to draft a paper on how to win the war. He replied that he could only plan "for not losing."

Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941 is the first of two volumes in which Daniel Todman offers a brilliantly fresh retelling, an epic history to fit an epic story. "Opening with his discovery of some war medals sitting in a hearing-aid box that likely belonged to his grandfather, Todman realizes that despite it all a new generation seems unaware of what was truly at stake when Churchill invoked Britain's "finest hour." The war was far greater than any single heroic hour. For six years, Britain was at the dark heart of history, finding its way forward hour by hour, day by day, year by year. This volume spans the beginning and the end of the beginning, from the massive changes required to get the country onto a war footing, through the failure of appeasement, the invasion of Poland, the "phony war," the fall of France, the "miracle" of Dunkirk, the Battles of Britain, and the Blitz, ending with America's course-changing entrance into the conflict in late 1941.

Todman's colossal project seamlessly merges economic, strategic, social, cultural, and military history in one compelling narrative. Rapid industrialization, social disruption, food rationing, Westminster politics, class snobbery, and the mobilization of a global empire are woven together with the major opening battles. Here, also, are key individuals-the politicians, industrialists, pub owners, housewives, the pilots of the RAF, and the sailors at Dunkirk-caught in the maelstrom that threatened to engulf not just a small island nation but the world itself.

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Review:


"Todman has established a high bar for himself with this excellent first sortie into the conflict's history." -- Alan Allport, Journal of Modern History


"A decade ago, Daniel Todman made his mark with a decidedly revisionist book on World War I, The Great War: Myth and Memory. In his second major work of popular history, Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941 he aims to modify our perceptions of the United Kingdom's role in World War II. In this, the first of two planned volumes, he succeeds triumphantly." - Wall Street Journal


"Todman's book seems deserving of high respect for the amount he has read, the fluency of his narrative, mastery of complex information and generally clear and shrewd judgments. The author brings to a new audience a mass of ideas and data familiar only to my own aging generation. This is an energetic, ambitious, provocative work by a young historian of notable gifts, which deserves a wide readership." - Max Hastings, author of The Secret War


"In the opening pages of this book, the first volume in a monumental new history of Britain's experience of the 'long' Second World War, Daniel Todman presents his own personal links to the world of the war through which his grandparents lived. This could have been a rather sentimental journey, but Todman tells their story with a light touch. As Todman demonstrates, one of the most remarkable aspects of Britain's war effort was the strong sense that the country would not be defeated and would, in the end, emerge victorious. EL The voices in Todman's book provide endearing evidence of such certitude and endeavour." - Richard Overy, author of A History of War in 100 Battles


"Britain's War is a sharply focused account of the transition of government and people from peacetime routines to the practices of total war. Hugely if overwhelmingly informative, the book brings us up to date with accuracy and precision across a multitude of fields." - The Times Literary Supplement


"Into Battle, the first volume of Dan Todman's new history of Britain and the Second World War, is a tour de force. Taking the story up to the end of 1941, Todman provides us with a judicious guide to the road to war and its catastrophic first phase, offering in addition a shrewd portrait of Churchill which is worth the price of the book alone. Total history at its best." --Jay Winter, Yale University


Book Description:

Britain's War is a narrative of these epic events, an analysis of the myriad factors that shaped military success and failure, and an explanation of what the war tells us about the history of modern Britai

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Book Description Hardcover. Condition: new. Hardcover. Great Britain's refusal to yield to Nazi Germany in the Second World War remains one of the greatest survival stories of modern times. Commemorated, evoked, and mythologized as it has been-chiseled and engraved onto countless monuments, the subject of an endless stream of books and films-its triumphant outcome was by no means predetermined. In December 1940, months after war was declared, the director of plans at the War Office in London was asked to draft a paper on how to win the war. He replied that he could only plan "for not losing." Britain's War: Into Battle, 1937-1941 is the first of two volumes in which Daniel Todman offers a brilliantly fresh retelling, an epic history to fit an epic story. "Opening with his discovery of some war medals sitting in a hearing-aid box that likely belonged to his grandfather, Todman realizes that despite it all a new generation seems unaware of what was truly at stake when Churchill invoked Britain's "finest hour." The war was far greater than any single heroic hour. For six years, Britain was at the dark heart of history, finding its way forward hour by hour, day by day, year by year. This volume spans the beginning and the end of the beginning, from the massive changes required to get the country onto a war footing, through the failure of appeasement, the invasion of Poland, the "phony war," the fall of France, the "miracle" of Dunkirk, the Battles of Britain, and the Blitz, ending with America's course-changing entrance into the conflict in late 1941. Todman's colossal project seamlessly merges economic, strategic, social, cultural, and military history in one compelling narrative. Rapid industrialization, social disruption, food rationing, Westminster politics, class snobbery, and the mobilization of a global empire are woven together with the major opening battles. Here, also, are key individuals-the politicians, industrialists, pub owners, housewives, the pilots of the RAF, and the sailors at Dunkirk-caught in the maelstrom that threatened to engulf not just a small island nation but the world itself. Shipping may be from multiple locations in the US or from the UK, depending on stock availability. Seller Inventory # 9780190621803

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