Wales Since 1939 Paperback – 1 Mar 2012
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"This is a truly magisterial study and analysis which deserves and will certainly achieve a wide and indeed varied readership.'" -- Gwales.com (Welsh Books Council)
Martin Johnes has written a fresh, insightful, and interesting study of Welsh history since 1939, telling the story of a small yet complicated nation in a fascinating and engaging way that will be of interest not only to Welsh historians, but to scholars in all areas of modern history.' -- Twentieth Century British History
"As a social history of a given corner of our world, this is a good book; scholarly, erudite, comprehensive and exciting. As an account of modern Wales, this is an important, perhaps even vital, document. Indeed, in writing it, Johnes has marked himself out as an historian fit to join the likes of Gwyn Alf Williams, Kenneth Morgan and John Davies as a great panoramic storyteller of the two western peninsulas resolutely known as Wales, but whose recent past is shaped by things that matter more" -- Goodreads.com
"Martin Johnes has written a meticulously informed account of our recent history, founded on prodigious data, and refreshingly enriched by the 'evidence' of poets and novelists. It is a healthy corrective to idealised narratives of Welsh progress, although perhaps a milder one than he may have intended." -- Agenda
"Modern Welsh history is not conveniently 'boxed' into categories in Wales since 1939, but instead its multifarious shades of grey of are articulated. Johnes has succeed in portraying the diversity of Wales in the second half of the 20th-century and has remedied the long-standing neglect of several topics under the microscope here. In many ways, this book does for Wales what Peter Clarke's Hope and Glory or Dominic Sandbrook's post-war histories do for Britain: providing an approachable history that does not forget its academic roots." -- Reviews in History
"[It] should be the standard narrative for some time of the forces that have combined to make the Wales of the new century's second decade." -- Wales Arts Review
"This is a truly magisterial study and analysis which deserves and will certainly achieve a wide and indeed varied readership." -- J. Graham Jones, Morgannwg: The Journal of Glamorgan History, volume LVI 2012
About the Author
Martin Johnes is Head of History & Classics at Swansea University
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Top Customer Reviews
This is a large book but it is easy to read and very well supported with statistical and other evidence and recommendations for further reading. You can easily tell that the author is very enthusiastic about his subject, and keen to share his learning.
If his balanced but powerful learning is allowed to guide our changes in both the curriculum and pedagogy of history as a subject and also, perhaps even more critically, the redirection of Cwricwlwm Cymreig, our schools and society will be the gainers. That if has to be capitalised, though.
Johnes is both serious and light at the same time. He is superbly constructivist in source interpretation; no one is better at reevaluating the likes of sport, fashion, music, work, family and sex in terms of political change and effect. Johnes is also a rarity in one crucial Welsh way. He is pulsatingly passionate about his country and language without being a Cyclops. This work brings new insight and much needed new dignity to the modern historical narrative of Wales, a country whose labouring politics mixed with too much insecurity have for two decades been allowed to unbalance too much fiction and fact. Johnes, who is brilliant at sport (a sure sign of a decent human being in any academic), can be said to have played an absolute blinder from kick-off to no-side final whistle. Buy this book and you will begin to understand much better modern Wales as a much misunderstood but culturally valid (and valuable) UK country.
Would recommend to most serius readers
It's a rare and wonderful thing to find history this informative and this readable.