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Blitz Kids: The Children's War Against Hitler
Blitz Kids: The Children's War Against Hitler
by Sean Longden
Edition: Hardcover
Price: £20.00

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What it was really like growing up in World War 2, 28 April 2012
If like me you have parents who grew up in World War 2 you've probably heard all the stories about rationing, air raids and evacuation - this book isn't about that. What never gets mentioned is that in 1939 the school leaving age was 14 - so kids were finding themselves as cabin boys on Atlantic convoys, POWs, marine bugle boys on the front line and junior ranks in the navy. 14 year old kids also got sent out deliver telegrams to dead soldiers' families and organise evacuees. This is one of the reasons this book is so good - you'll have never read those shocking stories before.

What it also does very well is show that the Blitz didn't just impact the big cities like London. There are stories from children all over Britain, including small Dorset villages on how the war impacted them. The big surprise here is that these kids weren't bystanders they were actively involved in saving lives, fighting fires and rescuing victims - often at great personal danger. I was shocked to discover during the Blitz my local hospital in Croydon was run by boy scouts. I've also just found out that one of the interviewees is the auntie of a friend who as a child lived through the Clydebank bombings. Like many of the stories in this book her retelling of her experiences through the eyes of a child is a very different perspective than anything else I've read about this subject. My friend was surprised to find out that she'd experienced all this as she'd never mentioned it. I suspect that she like many of the other people in this book - who have what the younger generation would consider amazing stories - just thought what they went through was all part of growing up. That's why this book is so good and why you should read it.


Hitler's British Slaves: British and Commonwealth PoW's in German Industry 1939-1945
Hitler's British Slaves: British and Commonwealth PoW's in German Industry 1939-1945
by Sean Longden
Edition: Hardcover

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must for all WW2 fans, 18 Jun. 2010
This is one of the most genuine books you will ever read about prisoners of war. It is a 'warts and all' version of the mythology of world war 2. There is little space for escape tunnels - instead it focuses on violence and misery. The perfect book for anyone who wants to understand what a family member went through a a POW.


Dunkirk: The Men They Left Behind
Dunkirk: The Men They Left Behind
by Sean Longden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £8.99

5.0 out of 5 stars What a fantastic book, 18 Jun. 2010
I have always admired Longden's books, and believe this is his best. The balance of first hand accounts with in-depth research is spot-on. I love the way the book brings the characters to life and i especially loved the way the publishers have included 'then and now' photos of the veterans so we can put faces to the stories. There may be some proof-reading errors in the text but that isn't the author's fault.
The book is a must for any WW2 fans library. I would recommend reading it then moving on to the author's other POW book 'Hitler's British Slaves'.


Lowlife, The
Lowlife, The
by Alexander Baron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A London Classic, 7 Jun. 2010
This review is from: Lowlife, The (Paperback)
This is a great book that gives a vivid picture of London in the late 1950s. Baron is a much overlooked author despite standing way above many of his contemporaries. That said, if you like this book you simply have to read 'From the City From the Plough'. It is his finest book and has just come back into print. Don't be put off by the fact it is a war novel. it is the greatest British novel of WW2 and concentrates on the ordinary man in wartime.

'The Lowlife' and 'From the City From the Plough': Two books that should have been filmed!!!


From the City, From the Plough
From the City, From the Plough
by Alexander Baron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.98

42 of 42 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best British WW2 Novel, 31 May 2010
This new version of Alexander Baron's wonderful novel is long overdue. Most importantly, it includes a fascinating introduction that reveals much background on Baron that I (a long time fan) was never aware of. In addition, it includes historical research by the respected historian Sean Longden. In this Longden (who previously used Baron's private letters and unpublished memoirs in his book 'To the Victor the Spoils') reveals the truth behind the book and uncovers the identity of the real-life officer upon whom Baron based the novel's Colonel Pothecary. This adds a previously unseen dimension that will intrigue those who have read earlier editions of the book.

To those who are new to Baron, many readers consider this to be the most authentic novel of life in the British army in the latter stages of WW2. It avoids heroism or overbearing sentimentality to give a wonderful insight on the British character in wartime.

I am amazed there has never been a film of this book!


Gregory's Girl [DVD] [1981]
Gregory's Girl [DVD] [1981]
Dvd ~ John Gordon Sinclair
Offered by qualityfilmsfromuk
Price: £19.50

4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An all time favourite, 26 Nov. 2009
This review is from: Gregory's Girl [DVD] [1981] (DVD)
Back when I was at school, and working part-time in a cinema, this film made a great impression. It was released with the loathsome 'Chariots of Fire'. I can recall empty cinemas (night after night) when 'Chariots' was first released on its own. Then it won some Oscars and was re-released (with Gregorys Girl). Suddenly the cinemas filled up! The new success was partly due to the OScars but I am convinced it was the partnering of the film with Gregory's Girl that really did it. Posh people watched both films: working class people laughed all the way through Gregory's Girl - then went home (OK - that is a bit of a generalisation, but not far off the mark). Which film won the Oscars? Chariots of Fire. Which film won the hearts of the audience? Gregory's Girl!!!!
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 20, 2012 2:17 PM GMT


King Dido
King Dido
by Alexander Baron
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sadly neglected author: A true London novelist, 26 Nov. 2009
This review is from: King Dido (Paperback)
I am overjoyed to see this fantastic novel back in print. For some strange reason Baron has been forgotten whilst many lesser writers continue to sell. I long to see readers support this book: only by supporting the brave publication of forgotten gems, can readers ensure we are not submerged beneath a tide of celebrity tittle-tattle and worthless modern 'fashionable' observation. Fans of Baron will be pleased to know that 'From the City From the Plough' is due to be republished in 2010.


T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets, 1945
T-Force: The Race for Nazi War Secrets, 1945
by Sean Longden
Edition: Hardcover

22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Foundations of Post War Europe, 19 Nov. 2009
I was surprised to see another reviewer complaining that this was merely the history of a unit. Like most of Sean Longden's books it is a very personal story - via new eye witness accounts of what it was like to be in this unique unit, who were given the task of getting Nazi scientific knowhow before the Japanese and the Russians could. It's this personal perspective and focus on the unit, similar to the approach in Band of Brothers which gives the book its strength. James Bond style antics, planned by Ian Fleming but carried out by a group of individuals (raw recruits and recently injured men previously deemed unfit for front line duty) who each have their own story.
That's not to say however that T-Force fails to contribute to the wider debate. As someone who specialised in German/Russian history of this period at University, reading the last chapters I was suprised to see much of what I'd learnt about the Russian impact on the German postwar economy - was equally true - thanks to unit's like T-Force - of the British impact. And what I would have given to have had access to this book back then when I was doing my studies.


Highlander: The History of The Legendary Highland Soldier
Highlander: The History of The Legendary Highland Soldier
by Tim Newark
Edition: Hardcover

8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Scottish Story, and a message for the rest of the UK, 19 Nov. 2009
As an exiled Scot, this book helps bring together so many thoughts about Scotland's role in the UK. Not only is it a fascinating story, put together brilliantly from a wide variety of resources, but it makes you think about where Scotland might be going in the future.
Well done Mr Newark! Keep up the good work.


To the Victor the Spoils
To the Victor the Spoils
by Sean Longden
Edition: Paperback
Price: £9.99

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite book on the European war, 19 Nov. 2009
Unputdownable (if that is a word!)Brilliantly researched, this book tells the social history of the British Army. It has everything that most books leaves out: sex, drugs, alcohol, the depths of fear and the heights of excitement. I picked it up from a railway station for something to read on a long journey and when I reached my destination I just wanted the train to trun round and head home so I could keep reading.
The final chapter is stunning,telling how soldiers coped post war, having to deal with the bad memories. On a side point, the chapter is called 'The Sadness Endures' - Isn't that a translation of 'La Tristesse Durera' the title of a Manic Street Preachers song?


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