The Stomach for Fighting: Food and the Soldiers of the Great War (Cultural History of Modern War) Hardcover – 13 Mar 2012
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Beautifully written and utterly absorbing Family Tree Magazine, 01/11/2012 Rachel Duffett has written a fine social history of British rank and file soldiers, or rankers, and their experiences of food during the Great War. Professor Kyri Claflin, Reviews in History, 18 October 2012 ..provides a rich and valuable contribution to the cultural history of the Great War. -- .
About the Author
Rachel Duffett teaches History at the University of Essex and UCS, Ipswich
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Top Customer Reviews
An excellently researched and well structured volume. Rachel Duffet has obviously done her wide ranging research well, the scope and depth of the sources listed within the bibliography are quite astounding. Her ability to seek out the references to rations, feeding and food throughout is impressive, particularly given the seeming lack of comprehensive, contemporary records on the subject. No reliance on a few limited sources either, the variety and depth of resource she has used is as equally impressive as the range, from rankers to officers, from families to friends and from local units to headquarters, all get their examination, an examination that pulls no punches. As an ex-army chef from the modern era (70's & 80's) and a professional chef and caterer, the stories of army life and rationing that Duffett recounts make for quite worrying and at times, it has to be said, upsetting and difficult reading.
This book ticks so many boxes, it reflects on the social standards and domestic arrangements that 'Tommy' was used to, before he donned khaki. It examines skilfully the expectations of the soldiers and the realities they faced, in supplying and feeding thousands of men on short notice and at times in quite dire, unsanitary and pretty distressing conditions. It pulls no punches in its conclusions either and shows another aspect of military organisation that was found wanting, as industrial total war overwhelmed the ability of the army to administer to the needs of so many men. This book is well worth a read for any social, family, food or military historian, or equally just as useful for anyone with an interesting on the subject or the period.
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