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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overheard conversations during the Blitz, 5 July 2006
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Peter Manning "Urban Fox" (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Living Through the Blitz (Paperback)
This is a fascinating, totally original and virtually unmediated account of the real experiences of ordinary people living through the blitz, and in many cases failing to cope. It is based on the work of Tom Harrisson's team of researchers at Mass Observation who from the mid 1930's through to the late 1940's evesdropped upon the conversations of people at a whole host of public places from pubs to bus stops and recorded their conversations and reactions to their everyday experiences and the propaganda they encountered. Unlike the somewhat stilted responses in traditional vox-pop interviews, these accounts are unwitting and candid, and have the smell of truth about them. This book offers a unique counterbalance to the relentlessly chipper tone of contemporary newsreels and newspaper reports. Often revealing how desparate large numbers of people were in the face of continual bombardment and how close some cities like Coventry came to being ungovernable when the physical infrastructure was obliterated. Suicide and psychological damage seems to have been common, and it is surprising to learn how close we came to mass panic and societal breakdown - a far cry from Churchill's defiant claim that "Britain can take it". It is interesting that after all these years the Movietone image of the plucky chirpy cockney standing defiantly on a pile of rubble is still the dominant impression we have of that period, when the truth is far more shocking.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Breathtaking, 11 Dec. 2012
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This review is from: Living Through the Blitz (Paperback)
This is one of the most interesting and enlightening books about the home front in the Second World War. Very surprising that it's not better known. It brought the period alive to me
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 9 Mar. 2015
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This review is from: Living Through the Blitz (Paperback)
excellent, really interesting read
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Living Through the Blitz
Living Through the Blitz by Tom Harrisson (Paperback - 30 Aug. 1990)
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