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The Road To 1945: British Politics and the Second World War Revised Edition [Paperback]

Paul Addison
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Book Description

6 Jan 1994
1940 has long been regarded as the time when political parties put aside their differences to unite under Churchill and focus on the task of war. But the war years witnessed a radical shift in political power - dramatically expressed in Labour's decisive electoral victory in 1945. In his acclaimed study, Paul Addison traces this sea-change back to the Thirties and goes on to recapture the powerful spirit of post-war reconstruction.

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The Road To 1945: British Politics and the Second World War Revised Edition + The People's War: Britain 1939-1945: Britain, 1939-45 + Wartime: Britain 1939-1945
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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Pimlico; 2nd Revised edition edition (6 Jan 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0712659323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0712659321
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.4 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 92,942 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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"What I find most striking is the beauty of his prose, the force of his argument, and the awesome and painstaking research that underpins it. Although I still do not agree with him, it is one hell of an achievement, and one that has not been matched since" (Harriet Jones Times Education Supplement)

"This is a landmark in the writing of contemporary history and deserves wide acclaim" (Times Literary Supplement)

"Many books have been written about the Home Front. Few have dealt with the development of policies at the top. Addison's book fills the gap magnificently. It tells with wit, scholarship and imagination how the British people entered the Promised Land - or seemed to" (A.J.P. Taylor Observer)

"This is a brilliant book. It is probably the most intelligent monograph on a recent period of British politics" (John Vincet New Society)

Book Description

'The best and most comprehensive account of British politics immediately before, during, and immediately after the Second World War' Guardian

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Customer Reviews

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The British political scene in wartime 29 Feb 2012
This is the rare book where its title tells you more about it than its subtitle. In recounting British politics from the late 1930s to the momentous general election of 1945, Paul Addison seeks to explain the transformation in British political attitudes that made the Labour Party's triumph possible. The dramatic nature of this transformation is demonstrated with the first chapter, which describes British politics in the years leading up to the war. This was an era of Conservative Party ascendancy, one aided by the political difficulties of their two main competitors. With the Liberal Party still recovering from their fracturing in the First World War and Labour striving to demonstrate its viability as a governing party, the Conservatives were able to win four of six general elections, either on their own or as the dominant partner of the 'National' governments of the 1930s, and Addison argues that they were poised to win the general election due in 1940 had the war not intervened.

Addison sees the Conservatives as disadvantaged by the conflict. While the beneficiaries of resurgent patriotism during the First World War, their political predominance in the 1930s ensured that they would receive the blame for the missteps and mistakes in the early months of the new conflict. Labour was the major beneficiary, and while the Conservatives retained their majority in the House of Commons, the travails of Neville Chamberlain's government gave Clement Attlee leverage. His refusal to serve under Chamberlain in May 1940 was the key factor in bringing about Chamberlain's resignation and his replacement as prime minister by Winston Churchill.
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4.0 out of 5 stars easy to read and understand 25 Nov 2013
By Phoebe
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Very good overview which provides a comprehensive guide to this fascinating period of British history. Would recommend for university courses covering this topic, as much clearer than other texts I have read.
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2 of 8 people found the following review helpful
To what extent was democracy preserved in the workings of Britain's government during the Second World War ? If the regular canvassing of public opinion, and the chicanery of opposing party politics and independent mavericks are reliable indicators, then "not too bad" would seem to be the answer of this book. The chapters of the book chronicle the stages of co-operation and competition of parliamentarians through the late `30s to 1945, and how their electoral support influenced and was influenced by the military and welfare systems of the UK.

If the contents of the book had not lived up to the title claimed on the cover, I would have said as much in this review. Its approach is as impartial, comprehensive, reflective and occasionally droll as the average reader on this topic could want.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Road to 1945 - Paul Addison 21 Jan 2012
By Patrick
I bought this book to assist me with my British Politics History course and I predict it will be of huge help. Despite a few creases on the first couple of pages and, remarkably, unfathomable red 'note-taking' on one of the pages, it arrived in decent condition and in double quick time.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars road to 1945 6 Feb 2011
By Lisa
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Bought to assist me with my university studies, easy to read and very informative about politics from 1920s to 1945. came quickly in good condition many thanks
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