Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
  • Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)
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Britain's War Machine: Weapons, Resources and Experts in the Second World War (Paperback)

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£12.99
Paperback 480 Pages
Published: 29/03/2012
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GUARDIAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR

The familiar image of the British in the Second World War is that of the plucky underdog taking on German might. David Edgerton's bold, compelling new history shows the conflict in a new light, with Britain as a very wealthy country, formidable in arms, ruthless in pursuit of its interests and sitting at the heart of a global production system.

The British, indeed Churchillian, vision of war and modernity was challenged by repeated defeat by less well equipped enemies. Yet the end result was a vindication of this vision. Like the United States, a powerful Britain won a cheap victory, while others paid a great price. Britain's War Machine, by putting resources, machines and experts at the heart of a global rather than merely imperial story, demolishes some of the most cherished myths about wartime Britain and gives us a very different and often unsettling picture of a great power in action

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141026107
Number of pages: 480
Weight: 330 g
Dimensions: 198 x 130 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Brilliant and thought-provoking ... There are moments of edgy humour, too ... This remarkable book shows that whatever the reasons for the length of time it took to bring Hitler to heel, the quantity and quality of British war material was not among them - Brendan Simms, Sunday Telegraph

Edgerton's book is a remarkable achievement. He re-envisions Britain's role in World War II and with it Britain's place in modernity. In place of a plucky island standing alone, he gives us a global empire of machines, not a welfare state, but a technocratic warfare state. The period will never look the same again - Adam Tooze, author of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy

Consistently lively, stimulating and authoritative - Observer

Absolutely fascinating. This book will make you think differently about Britain's role in the Second World War - Laurence Rees, author of Auschwitz: The Nazis and The 'Final Solution'

This book has certainly changed my views ... It is a necessary and timely corrective to a great deal of loosely thought-through conventional wisdom, and makes a real contribution to our understanding of the war - Richard Holmes, Literary Review

For too long we have had a distorted view of Britain's position and role in the Second World War. David Edgerton has produced a stunning book that rectifies this misconception, and which is told with authority, clarity and compelling energy - James Holland, author of The Battle of Britain

An important corrective to the black-and-white portrait of the period that still prevails - Financial Times

A stimulating exercise in muscular revisionism ... Offers a fresh and provocative view of our much-loved and much-misunderstood "finest hour" - David Reynolds, Guardian

Accessibly written and deserves a wide audience. Above all, Edgerton demonstrates that the war is a subject we haven't yet heard nearly enough about. Britain's War Machine is a considerable achievement - Graham Farmelo, Times Higher Education

Edgerton has excelled himself with this highly revisionist account of Britain's national performance during the Second World War ... an unusually provocative book - Twentieth Century British History, 2011

Edgerton has written what could prove to be one of the most influential books on the history of the Second World War ... majestic ... [he] has successfully shown us that we still have a lot to learn about the conflict ... it will become the required reading for all students wishing to study the Second World War - Reviews in History

An astounding work of myth-busting ... Inspiring and unsettling in equal measure - Tom Holland, Guardian

Majestic ... a wonderful read. It has probably popped more myths than any other book on the war in recent years - Taylor Downing, History Today

Brilliant and iconoclastic ... debunks the myth that Britain was militarily and economically weak and intellectually parochial during the 1930s and 1940s - David Blackburn, Spectator Book Blog

Truly eye-opening ... Edgerton's carefully researched book will fundamentally change the way you think about World War II - Daily Beast

Riveting ... a wonderfully rich book ... thoroughly stimulating - Richard Toye, History

A major new assessment of Britain's war effort from 1939 to 1945. Never again will some of the lazy assessments of how Britain performed over these years ... be acceptable. That's why this is such an important book - History Today

Innovative and most important - Contemporary Review

Compelling and engaging ... an excellent read - Soldier

Edgerton's well-researched volume bursts with data that reveal Britain's true strength even when supposed to be in critical condition - Peter Moreira, Military History

Britain's War Machine offers the boldest revisionist argument that seeks to overturn some of our most treasured assumptions about Britain's role in the war ... Edgerton [is] an economic historian with an army of marshalled facts and figures at his fingertips ... This is truly an eye-opening book that explodes the masochistic myth of poor little Britain, revealing the island as a proud power with the resources needed to fight and win a world war - Nigel Jones, Spectator

Masterful Britain's War Machine promotes the notion that the United Kingdom of the Forties was a superpower, with access to millions of men across the globe, and forming the heart of a global production network - Mail on Sunday

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