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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic history
The authors are right, the living history of the First World War is dying before our eyes and it thoroughly deserves to be recorded.
This fantastic book chooses not to trace the journey of the horrors of the Western Front but instead looks at life back in Britain during the war, drawing upon sources which have not been tapped before. This provides a fanscinating...
Published on 29 Feb 2004 by bariau

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nasty, Brutish and Long
My impression is that this is two books in one. The first (the good bit) are the first hand testimonies of the people involved. I assume this was the part contributed by Richard van Emden and they stand alongside his other contributions from his extensive research among primary sources for the War. The second (the bad bit) is the interpretation of what they mean in terms...
Published 5 months ago by Peter Grant


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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A fantastic history, 29 Feb 2004
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This review is from: All Quiet on the Home Front: An Oral History of Life in Britain During the First World War (Paperback)
The authors are right, the living history of the First World War is dying before our eyes and it thoroughly deserves to be recorded.
This fantastic book chooses not to trace the journey of the horrors of the Western Front but instead looks at life back in Britain during the war, drawing upon sources which have not been tapped before. This provides a fanscinating insight into the other side of the story, one which I hadn't ever really thought of before.
I've been to see the cemetaries at Tyne Cot and Ypres and was deeply moved by them, I've seen Hill 60 and the tomb of the unknown soldier but I had never really had spared a thought for those left at home. This book reveals some amazing stories from amazing people.
My only complaint is that I wish the book was longer - every story deserves to be recorded so that the people of my generation know how easy their lives truely are.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant!, 1 Dec 2011
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This is one of the best books I've read on the home front of the first world war. Taking the war chronologically, told from the testimonies of the last generation to remember it, it provides and over-all picture while going into sufficient detail to be engrossing. In fact I couldn't put it down!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars book, 10 April 2014
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This review is from: All Quiet on the Home Front: An Oral History of Life in Britain During the First World War (Paperback)
thank you a great read for all history buffs of WW1 or if you are just interested local in history
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stories that will stay with you, 20 Jan 2009
This review is from: All Quiet on the Home Front: An Oral History of Life in Britain During the First World War (Paperback)
This is just a very good (and also very moving) book, highly recommended for anyone who wants to know more about a very important era in the history of Europe, but also covering an area much neglected in many of the popular histories available. Whilst the horrors of the Western, Eastern and Italian fronts should never be ignored, the suffering endured by the civilian populations from coastal bombardments, Zeppelin raids, starvation, poverty, child labour and so much more are widely covered in this fascinating read. Stories such as that of Elfie Druhm, living in London after her father's internment or Phyllis Ing's experiences in an orphanage will haunt you forever. A truly unforgettable read.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Nasty, Brutish and Long, 10 Feb 2014
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Peter Grant (London) - See all my reviews
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My impression is that this is two books in one. The first (the good bit) are the first hand testimonies of the people involved. I assume this was the part contributed by Richard van Emden and they stand alongside his other contributions from his extensive research among primary sources for the War. The second (the bad bit) is the interpretation of what they mean in terms of the overall social impact of the War on the lives of ordinary people. I assume this was the bit added by Steve Humphries but my apologies if I'm wrong. Often in the face of quotes to the contrary the book is determined to say that the War was one of unrelieved misery, hardship and ill health when most of the evidence is that living standards, especially for the poorest, actually rose. In a discussion on how people were poorer because of the war (p 245) they suggest this was exacerbated by many people having to pay income tax for the first time and make it sound as if tax thresholds had been lowered. In fact there was a rise in gross wages as far more people reached the threshold for paying the tax. Perhaps most outrageous of all is the claim (p 231) that ‘most men died in their late-forties to mid-fifties.’ This is, of course, utter nonsense. The life expectancy for males at birth during the war was around 50. If one reached manhood, your life expectancy was significantly higher. Humphries and van Emden almost comically reveal their failure to understand simple statistics by immediately quoting as an example of how most men died in early middle age a person who ‘had a heart attack and was run over by a steamroller’!
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