Britain at Bay: The Epic Story of the Second World War: 1938-1941 (Hardback)Alan Allport (author)
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The first part of a major new two-volume history, Britain at Bay is a provocative, revisionist panorama of the gruelling first half of the Second World War and Britain's place in its mythos.
In the bleak first half of the Second World War, Britain stood alone against the Axis forces. Isolated and outmanoeuvred, it seemed as though she might fall at any moment. Only an extraordinary effort of courage - by ordinary men and women - held the line.
The Second World War is the defining experience of modern British history, a new Iliad for our own times. But, as Alan Allport reveals in this, the first part of a major new two-volume history, the real story was often very different from the myth that followed it. From the subtle moral calculus of appeasement to the febrile dusts of the Western Desert, Allport interrogates every aspect of the conflict - and exposes its echoes in our own age.
Challenging orthodoxy and casting fresh light on famous events from Dunkirk to the Blitz, this is the real story of a clash between civilisations that remade the world in its image.
Publisher: Profile Books Ltd
Number of pages: 608
Weight: 964 g
Dimensions: 240 x 162 x 50 mm
'Simultaneously incisive but nuanced, and studded with sharp pen portraits, Britain at Bay offers a scholarly, invigorating and beautifully constructed tour d'horizon of perhaps the four most crucial years in our island story.' - David Kynaston, author of The Long '68 and National Service
'This extraordinary book punctures many of the myths that have become so influential about Britain in the Second World War without robbing the period of its spectacular drama' - Professor Richard Vinen
'Written with style and verve, Britain at Bay will make you think anew not just about the war, but about the Britain and the Britons that fought it. A book for anyone who wants to understand this crucial period in the nation's history.' - Daniel Todman, author of Britain's War: A New World, 1942-1947
'The beautifully-written Britain at Bay is an impregnable fortress of good sense gallantly resisting the crass sentimentality, exaggeration and naive hindsight of so many accounts of Britain in the early second world war. With great elan, built on deep reserves of historical knowledge, it puts Chamberlain and Churchill in perspective, the Blitz, the Battle of Britain and Battle of the Atlantic in true proportion, and the progress of the imperial war abroad in panoramic view. Its precise and pointed judgements on events, people, and arguments are a bracing reminder of the power of brilliant history to make us reconsider what we think we know about the most familiar part of the British past.' - David Edgerton, author of Britain's War Machine and The Rise and Fall of the British Nation
'Original, compelling, timely. This is a history that reminds us of the Britain behind the myth of its Second World War. It's a history that many will want to argue with. And that everyone should read.' - Lucy Noakes, Rab Butler Professor of Modern History at the University of Essex
'Praise for Alan Allport's previous book:
'Allport has distilled a mass of wisdom, and gathered all manner of truths under one roof, with skill and judgement.' - Max Hastings, Sunday Times
'A masterfully written and hugely convincing riposte to a host of popular assumptions about World War II, Britain at Bay confirms Alan Allport's high rank among that select group of historians who can convey serious thought through engaging prose.' - S. P. MacKenzie, McKissick-Dial Professor of History, University of South Carolina
'A deeply researched, well-written and perceptive book ... This is Second World War writing at its best, and there is as much here about culture and society as about tactics and strategy.' - Andrew Roberts
'Allport's wonderfully insightful study asks us to rethink the conventional chronology It is not only refreshingly free of jargon but remarkably moving. If all academic history was written this way, popular historians would be out of a job.' - Dominic Sandbrook
'a welcome and highly readable retelling of the story of Britain's entry into the Second World War and its initial survival against great odds. Weaving together grand strategy, high politics and the complexities of British society at the time, Alan Allport deftly demolishes some sacred cows along the way and makes the reader think again about the choices and the odds facing Britain.' - Margaret MacMillan, Emeritus Professor of International History, University of Oxford; Professor of History, University of Toronto
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