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The Many Not The Few [Hardcover]

Richard North
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
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Price: 13.60 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

8 Mar 2012
Immortalised in Churchill's often quoted assertion that never before ""was so much owed by so many to so few"", the top-down narrative of the Battle of Britain has been firmly established in British legend. Britain was saved from German invasion by the gallant band of Fighter Command Pilots in their Spitfires and Hurricanes, and the public owed them their freedom. Richard North's radical re-evaluation of the Battle of Britain dismantles this mythical retelling of events. Taking a wider perspective than the much-discussed air war, North takes a fresh look at the conflict as a whole to show that the civilian experience, far from being separate and distinct, was integral to the Battle. This recovery of the people's stolen history demonstrates that Hitler's aim was not the military conquest of England, and that his unattained target was the hearts and minds of British people.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 456 pages
  • Publisher: Continuum (8 Mar 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0754649113
  • ISBN-13: 978-0754649113
  • ASIN: 1441131515
  • Product Dimensions: 3.3 x 15.9 x 24.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 418,703 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


[The book] is brilliantly bold in its overview and rigorously forenstic in its analysis... I do urge you to read North's book, because it's riveting and devastating... What North has achieved here is admirable. He has set out to reclaim for the people of Britain the credit for a glorious victory which was stolen from them by the political Establishment. --The Spectator

About the Author

Richard North has in recent years won a reputation as one of Britain s most expert defence analysts, through his Defence of the Realm blog. Formerly a research director in the European Parliament, North is also a political analyst through his EU Referendum blog, which examines Britain s place in the world with particular reference to its membership of the European Union. He has co-authored four bestselling books with the Sunday Telegraph columnist Christopher Booker, including Scared To Death: From BSE To Global Warming, How Scares Are Costing Us The Earth (2007) and The Great Deception (2005), a comprehensive history of the European Union. He is the author of Ministry of Defeat (2009).

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Impressive and totally convincing 2 Sep 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
To say that I was impressed by this book is something of an understatement... In short the author has been able to weave together in a very convincing and documented way a series of threads that did not completely fit in the canonical version of the Battle of Britain. Yes because, when reading most of the books devoted to the BoB, a series of ill-fitting events continuously and annoyingly pop-up: the limited extent of Luftwaffe raids for instance, the lack of German narratives of the BoB as an organised attempt to destroy RAF air power, the lack of conviction from OKW and Hitler himself about Seeloewe, the Germans'supposed mistake of devoting themselves to bombing London after having almost succedeed to smash RAF. In this excellent book all these issues find finally a convincing explanation, that some people may find disturbing our not acceptable at all, as it diverges and conflicts widely with the official narrative of the BoB.
I find this a courageous book as I can imagine that the Guardians of the Memory, as we call in my country people refusing even to consider that events might have been different from what they have been traditionally told, must have risen up in arms to defend the official view of the BoB. Their problem is that this version is perfectly plausible and makes everything click together wonderfully.
Unfortunately it seems like modern nations and governments and often the majority of official historians are ill at ease with any attempt to provide original interpretations of problematic occurrances, choosing instead to consider them as challenges to their long accepted version of events.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From The Spectator 9 Mar 2012
By Diane
What the The Spectator said:


A review by James Delingpol published in The Spectator extracted from the online edition 26 February 2011

We all know that the time before we were born was a golden age when men were manlier, women lovelier, civilisation more civilised, culture more edifying, values more valued and so on. But what if it isn't actually true?

What if, say, it turned out that Winston Churchill was damn near as slippery and unprincipled a politician as David Cameron? What if the Battle of Britain wasn't actually won by `the Few' -- and wasn't even primarily a fighter battle anyway? What if, damn it, the famously long hot summer of 1940 was in fact mostly overcast with just a hot bit right at the end in September? What if our radar technology really wasn't that early or special? What if that famous Low cartoon -- `Very well then, alone' -- was a joke, given that, even before America joined the party, we had an empire of 500 million on our side?

This is the problem I'm having reading The Many Not The Few, Richard North's revisionist history of the Battle of Britain. It's brilliantly bold in its overview and rigorously forensic in its analysis -- but it's also a mite depressing because it does rather drive a coach and horses through one of my favourite national myths: that Britain was saved by dashing young men just like I would have been, probably, if I'd had a pilot's licence and I hadn't been sent to Bomber Command, or I hadn't already been called up to some other branch of the services and ended up having something really crap happen to me like being sunk with the Prince of Wales and eaten by tiger sharks, or arriving in Singapore just in time to be captured and dispatched to the Railway of Death...
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I've just finished the book. It shines. To research so much data and to communicate it in such a readable text is a considerable achievement. The balanced judgements in the closing chapters are telling.

The book has demolished my simplistic view of the war and substituted a much more complicated, nuanced and interesting narrative. It has the ring of truth about it.

What we need now is a six-volume set by Dr North to stand alongside Churchill's history.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Warning, this book will disturb readers 6 Feb 2012
By Artimus
As a child you often find that what you believed in was just a myth; being told by your peers that Father Christmas did not exist, the feeling of loss felt that you kept half believing for a further few years and if you are of a certain age - Roy of the Rovers did not play for a real tem called The Rovers. So if you are a child of the early post war years that played with your Spitfires and had dog fights over the bomb damage of North London imagine the shock when the story of the Battle of Britain that you thought you knew off by heart was not was not the whole truth.

This is what happened to Political Author Dr Richard North; the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Britain seemed the ideal opportunity to bring this part of WWII to a modern media audience by writing a Daily Blog, Dr North being at the forefront of political writing with his EU Referendum site. While writing only the first page it was obvious that things doe not gel together as he thought they should - up pops up the researcher in him that has kept Richard North at the very centre of controversial yet well researched political writing. Today there are many sources of information that have bee collated during the past 70 years, unfortunately these sources have not been put together in one place. The speeches of Winston Churchill and the broadcasts of J B Priestley though at odds are in fact apart of the untold story of The Battle of Britain.

There is a misconception that the `Battle of Britain' was all that was happening during the summer of 1940 and the RAF was the only defence of the UK, there was in fact a Trade Union Conference taking place. But the real story is that of the Many who won the Battle of Britain.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Fact Founded Look A The Battle FOR Britain!
Clearly Dr. Richard North has a very sound background founded in his service in the RAF.
North's research and sourcing is inovative and easy to follow as it is mainly based on... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Greg_L-W
5.0 out of 5 stars The Many Not The Few
In a country with - to this day - little hold on democracy or the truth, its good to see the facts being brought out, about the way in which the war was won. Read more
Published 22 months ago by Charlotte Peters Rock
3.0 out of 5 stars Was there any attempt at proof-reading?
Nothing to add to the reviews already shown, save to wonder why such a meticulous man with such an excellent long term collaborator as Christopher Booker could not be troubled to... Read more
Published on 10 April 2012 by Nicholas R. Oglethorpe
1.0 out of 5 stars Confused and ultimately pointless
There are thousands of histories written about The Battle of Britain. Why anybody would want to write another, particularly one that adds nothing to the sum of knowledge, is very... Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2012 by Mr. Rob Pritchard
5.0 out of 5 stars A Re-definition of the Battle of Britain
This is not just another rehash of the traditional Battle of Britain story with a gimmick. In this book the author successfully re-defines the term" Battle of Britain". Read more
Published on 31 Mar 2012 by Margaret
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly informative, pugnacious, debatable, but finally convincing
This book proves what its title asserts: the heroic endurance of the British people during the Blitz was deliberately written out of history by its elite. Read more
Published on 25 Mar 2012 by JPMT
4.0 out of 5 stars The book, the whole book and nothing but the book . . .
In the light of Jeremy Smith's odd comments, this may count me out but I obtained the book Amazonically and have never been near an "aviation forum" in my life. Read more
Published on 16 Mar 2012 by Mr. David C. Bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tribute To The Many
As Napoleon once noted: "history is a set of lies agreed upon". Historical events are often portrayed in nice neat categories with a large dose of `good old days' nostalgia chucked... Read more
Published on 13 Mar 2012 by P. Williams
1.0 out of 5 stars Not so honest reviews
A gentle warning, the earlier "reviews" were all written well before the book was available to the public. Read more
Published on 9 Mar 2012 by Jeremy Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly interesting, read the first 70-odd pages online if you please!
Thus far I've only been able to read the first three chapters of what seems to be a highly interesting and mind-challenging book. They can be read online on[...]. Read more
Published on 13 Feb 2012 by Hamersveld M. F. Van
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