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They danced all night: Actually, no - they did not.
on 23 July 2014
Martin Pugh goes thoroughly to the core in debunking a few myths of the inter-war years. He is quite convincing in repudiating that the 1920s was anything but roaring for the common man (except an increase in consumer goods), rebutting the conception of a mass of unmarried women during the same time as a result of the Great War (“singled out”) and also pointing out that the dismantling of the Empire had already begun. Pugh does this convincingly – this not only through anecdotes, but also through statistics and other research.
The result is an exhaustive work. As an academic read, it is entertaining and well written. As a light holiday pocket book - Well, you’d have to have above normal interest in the topic. I felt sometimes back at Uni when reading it, but at the same time backtracked and thought that it would have been more fun studying if all academic books were as this one.
I bought this one together with Lucy Moore’s “Anything goes” on the recommendation of Amazon. Though the books match in topic (Moore on the US, Pugh on the UK), they could not have been more different. Whereas Moore’s book is based on renowned news stories (and citing newspapers) to provide a snapshot, Pugh goes deep in to the matter. While Moore was done in an afternoon plus, I spent a week reading Pugh. I know I lot more about the common person in the 1920s than I know after reading Moore.
If you are looking for something that has everything you wanted to know about Britain in the mid-war years but never dared ask, this book is for you.