* Bounded by the Great War on one side and by the looming shadow of the Second World War on the other, the inter-war era boasts a coherent identity enjoyed by few other twenty-year periods.
* It was in these decades that so many of the iconic characters of modern Britain acquired their personas; but this social history sets them in unexpected contexts: Winston Churchill and Siegfried Sassoon as errant motorists, Barbara Cartland and Agatha Christie as resolute divorcees, Lady Diana Cooper as cash-strapped film star.
* This new account departs from the traditional perspective on inter-war Britain as an era dominated by mass unemployment, class conflict and poverty by reflecting modern research on rising real incomes, improvements in diet and health, and the spread of cheap luxuries. It vividly depicts how the British people reacted to the privations of wartime by their determination to indulge in leisure and entertainment of all kinds.
* It also corrects the view of contemporary critics who saw British society as undisciplined, irresponsible and criminal: in these decades the great Victorian vices - prostitution and drunkenness - were in steep decline, while the prison population stood at just 11,000.
* Martin Pugh also evaluates the extent of regional culture and loyalties between the wars, and examines the development of nationalism in Scotland, Wales, and Great Britain as a whole. Above all he explains how our modern consumer society of dedicated shoppers effectively took shape during the 1930s, as well as the modern British obsession with housing and home-ownership.