1939: A People's History (Paperback)
  • 1939: A People's History (Paperback)
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1939: A People's History (Paperback)

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£10.99
Paperback 368 Pages
Published: 02/04/2020
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‘Taylor has done us a great service in making the personal stories of what it was actually like to live through the most crucial year of the twentieth century vivid, compelling and salutary.’ - Roland Philipps, author of A Spy Named Orphan: The Enigma of Donald Maclean

In the autumn of 1938, Europe believed in the promise of peace. Still reeling from the ravages of the Great War, its people were desperate to rebuild their lives in a newly safe and stable era. But only a year later, the fateful decisions of just a few men had again led Europe to war, a war that would have a profound and lasting impact on millions.

Bestselling historian Frederick Taylor focuses on the day-to-day experiences of British and German people trapped in this disastrous chain of events and not, as is so often the case, the elite. Drawn from original sources, their voices, concerns and experiences reveal a marked disconnect between government and people; few ordinary citizens in either country wanted war.

1939: A People’s History is not only a vivid account of that turbulent year but also an interrogation of our capacity to go to war again. In many ways it serves as a warning; an opportunity for us to learn from our history and a reminder that we must never take peace for granted.

Publisher: Pan Macmillan
ISBN: 9781509858767
Number of pages: 368
Weight: 342 g
Dimensions: 197 x 130 x 31 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

A fascinating and well-written book about how two nations embraced the prospect of war. By examining a turbulent year from the ground up, Taylor has inadvertently exposed crucial differences in national characteristics. - Gerard De Groot, The Times

Taylor has done us a great service in making the personal stories of what it was actually like to live through the most crucial year of the twentieth century vivid, compelling and salutary - Roland Philipps

Well-researched and intriguing - Tim Bouverie, Daily Telegraph

A sinister and thrilling picture of how the year 1939 developed into war - Who Do You Think You Are Magazine

Taylor . . . does an excellent job of telling the story of the Coventry raid . . . Taylor's thorough, authoritative account elegantly explains the horrors of that night, as well as the wider story of the raid's significance in the air war's collective descent into barbarism. - Review of Coventry, Financial Times

Riveting . . . vivid . . . Taylor's account of flame and ruin in the Midlands in November 1940, superbly researched, shows how terror could come to anyone, anywhere, any time. It still can. - Review of Coventry, Spectator

Taylor weaves a chilling narrative from eyewitness accounts and documentary research . . . His account of the air operation . . . is quite superb. - Review of Dresden, The Times

This scholarly, objective, sane and well-written book . . . a tremendously powerful work, profoundly moving in the accounts of the ordinary German families who met their deaths that dreadful night. - Review of Dresden, Evening Standard

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“The war nobody wanted...”

This book is a departure from the normal histories in that it focuses on the viewpoint of ordinary citizens to the developing crisis in the run up to WW2 rather than from the perspective of the privileged and... More

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