Top critical review
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A mixed bag
on 26 April 2011
In general, this was a good social history of inter-war Britain, and the author has done a good job analysing such a complex period into less than 400 pages.
Before I outline my criticism, I have to say that parts of the book were genuinely interesting, with some of the weird and wonderful people/groups prevented it from being the boring run through that it could have been. In particular, reading about aspects such as the Eugenics Society, as well as the impact that well-known individuals (Freud, Darwin etc.) had on society made some chapters truly memorable and informative.
Having said that, many of the names of people and organisations mentioned got a bit overwhelming in some parts, and I sometimes questioned whether some of them were really as influential as the author described. Whilst I understand that more detail can be better, over-complication may deter some of the more general readers. In addition, I would like to have seen maybe a bit more political analysis, although to be fair this book was intended as more of a social study.
Indeed, as a social history it is a well written book, and the 'Chronological Introduction' included was a nice touch, providing a few pages that the reader can refer back to when necessary. However, I personally found a few too many dull passages which contained little of note (perhaps this is more a reflection of the subject than the author, though).