National Service: A Generation in Uniform 1945-1963 (Paperback)
  • National Service: A Generation in Uniform 1945-1963 (Paperback)
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National Service: A Generation in Uniform 1945-1963 (Paperback)

(author)
£16.99
Paperback 640 Pages
Published: 02/07/2015
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Winner of the Templer Medal and the Wolfson History Prize

Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller

Richard Vinen's National Service is a serious - if often very entertaining - attempt to get to grips with the reality of that extraordinary institution, which now seems as remote as the British Empire itself. With great sympathy and curiosity, Vinen unpicks the myths of the two 'gap years', which all British men who came of age between 1945 and the early 1960s had to fill with National Service.

This book is fascinating to those who endured or even enjoyed their time in uniform, but also to anyone wishing to understand the unique nature of post-war Britain.

Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
ISBN: 9780141399805
Number of pages: 640
Weight: 460 g
Dimensions: 198 x 129 x 28 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS

Vinen's clever and careful book is surely the definitive history. The era of national service now seems like ancient history, but from the routines of the parade ground to the horrors of Korea, Vinen restores it to life with a searching eye for detail and impressive human sympathy - Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR

Written with compassion and insight, Vinen's book brilliantly recreates the atmosphere of postwar Britain - Tony Barber, Financial Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR

National Service may prove to be the most original social history book of 2014. The book is bigger than its ostensible subject, embracing class, masculinity, sexuality, compliance, rebellion, combat atrocities, petty crime, notions of national identity, group solidarity, the fallibility of memory and what it means to be a man - Richard Davenport-Hines, Guardian

Vinen has given us the kind of book that every professional historian surely wants to write: not only with a mastery of its voluminous original sources but also a sensitivity to the rich human detail, by turns authoritative, thoughtful, poignant - and funny - Peter Clarke, Financial Times

I can't recall ever having read so unexpectedly fascinating a book...every single page has something of great interest on it - Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian

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