7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars
The war for ordinary folk, 7 July 2009
In today's world, with hindsight and our intense historical knowledge of the periods encompassing both the World Wars, we feel our knowledge is complete. This book shows, more than anything else, that this is not so, and to read the five diary entries of these very different Mass Observers builds a much truer picture of the first year of war than one I have encountered before. The very difference in each Observer, their ages, their social standing, their environment, are all fundamental in painting a vivid portrayal of the way millions got through a difficult, dangerous and unprecedented period in their history. Some of the voices have strong political opinions, some slate the government, some glory in living in that time in history, whilst others bemoan the cost increases seemingly all around them. For this book Simon Garfield was exceptionally clever to choose such a broad spectrum of people, to understand that period in history is to hear all those voices together.