Blood, Sweat, and Toil: Remaking the British Working Class, 1939-1945 (Hardback)
  • Blood, Sweat, and Toil: Remaking the British Working Class, 1939-1945 (Hardback)
zoom

Blood, Sweat, and Toil: Remaking the British Working Class, 1939-1945 (Hardback)

(author)
£88.00
Hardback 416 Pages / Published: 03/11/2011
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
Blood, Sweat, and Toil is the first scholarly history of the British working class in the Second World War. It integrates social, political, and labour history, and reflects the most recent scholarship and debates on social class, gender, and the forging of identities. Geoffrey G. Field examines the war's impact on workers in the varied contexts of the family, military service, the workplace, local communities, and the nation. Previous studies of the Home Front have analysed the lives of civilians, but they have neglected the importance of social class in defining popular experience and its centrality in public attitudes, official policy, and the politics of the war years. Contrary to accounts that view the war as eroding class divisions and creating a new sense of social unity in Britain, Field argues that the 1940s was a crucial decade in which the deeply fragmented working class of the interwar decades was "remade," achieving new collective status, power, and solidarity. He criticizes recent revisionist scholarship that has downplayed the significance of class in British society. Extensively researched, using official documents, diaries and letters, the records of trade unions, and numerous other institutions, Blood, Sweat, and Toil traces the rapid growth of trade unionism, joint consultation, and strike actions in the war years. It also analyses the mobilization of women into factories and the uniformed services and the lives of men conscripted into the army, showing how these experiences shaped their social attitudes and aspirations. Using opinion polls and other evidence, Field traces the evolution of popular political attitudes from the evacuation of 1939 and the desperate months of late 1940 to the election of 1945, opposing recent claims that the electorate was indifferent or apathetic at the war's end but also eschewing blanket assumptions about popular radicalization. Labour was an active agent in fashioning itself as both a national progressive party and the representative of working-class interests in 1945; far from a mere passive beneficiary of anti-Tory feeling, it gave organizational form to the idealism and the demand for significant change that the war had generated.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199604111
Number of pages: 416
Weight: 771 g
Dimensions: 241 x 163 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
It is to be hoped that Geoffrey Fields comprehensive and thought-provoking book will make a major critical contribution to the seemingly endless process of repositioning the Second World War in popular understanding. * Penny Summerfield, History Workshop Journal *
[H]e increases our understanding of an important, still imperfectly understood time, helping to clarify how a substantial, unprecedented shift towards a more equal society was achieved, incomplete and impermanent though it turned out to be. * Pat Thane, Times Literary Supplement *
A fascinating, kaleidoscopic history of the British working class during World War II, which upends many familiar stereotypes about the war and British society. It also demonstrates that there is still plenty of life in the field of labor history, whose death has been prematurely announced many times. * Prof. Eric Foner, The Nation *
This carefully written, solidly researched and clearly argued book must be a part of all historical studies of the last century ... Essential. * Prof. M. J. Moore, Choice *
Field's book is an important intervention precisely because it decisively brings the workers back in, placing them at the heart of wartime social and political change, and in doing so deepening our understanding of the wars impact on class relations ... an excellent book, one of the outstanding features of which is Field's mastery of a rich body of sources. * Ben Jackson, English Historical Review *
a rich, densely textured social and cultural history of class relations in Britain that goes a considerable way to realizing long-lost ambitions toward 'total history' ... Blood, Sweat, and Toil will rightly take its place alongside such now-classic accounts as Angus Calder's The People's War (London 1969) and Paul Addison's The Road to 1945 (London, 1975). * Alan Campbell, Journal of Modern History *
This is a splendid, well-written, and deeply researched study of the British working class during the Second World Waran essential text about Britain during the war * Peter Stansky, Journal of British Studies *
For anyone seriously engaged in the study of wartime Britain, Field's work will likely be read for years to come. * Adam R. Seipp, H-Net Reviews *
Field's readable, persuasive, and informed account should hold a prominent place in the literature for some years to come...[He] has unanswerably demonstrated the emergence of a new inclusivity in the wartime nation .. [and] has provided a superbly documented account of the centrality of class to the history of wartime Britain. * Kevin Morgan, International Review of Social History *
Field ...brings forth a fresh eye and a highly impressive volume of primary research; his analysis is always thoughtful and stimulating ... He has refocused our minds on class, has proposed some credible hypotheses, and has done much to illuminate them. His book will repay rereading, and is likely to become a key point of reference in the literature. * War in History *
... engaging and deftly written study ... For anyone seriously engaged in the study of wartime Britain, Field's work will likely be read for years to come. * Adam R. Seipp, H-Net Reviews *
Field's readable, persuasive, and informed account should hold a prominent place in the literature for some years to come ... [he] has unanswerably demonstrated the emergence of a new inclusivity in the wartime nation ...[and] has provided a superbly documented account of the centrality of class to the history of wartime Britain. * Kevin Morgan, International Review of Social History *
It is to be hoped that Geoffrey Fields comprehensive and thought-provoking book will make a major critical contribution to the seemingly endless process of repositioning the Second World War in popular understanding. * Penny Summerfield, History Workshop Journal *
in its challenge to the triumphalist narrative of the war, Field's study has staying power. Blood, Sweat, and Toil will perhaps have its greatest afterlife in the classroom ... The individual chapters on women's mobilization, evacuees, the Blitz, industrial relations and trade unions, or the military could surely provide undergraduates with a more complex survey of Britain's "good war," including the serious class tensions that shaped the wartime experience. * Joel Hebert, Journal of Social History *

You may also be interested in...

If Walls Could Talk
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
The Battle of Britain
Added to basket
Victoria
Added to basket
£12.99   £7.99
Paperback
Foundation
Added to basket
£12.99
Paperback
A History Of Scotland
Added to basket
The Hollow Crown
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
Witches
Added to basket
£11.99
Paperback
The English and their History
Added to basket
Civil War
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
How England Made the English
Added to basket
She-Wolves
Added to basket
£10.99
Paperback
How to be a Victorian
Added to basket
First Light
Added to basket
£9.99
Paperback
The Secret Rooms
Added to basket
A Great and Terrible King
Added to basket

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.