Nine Wartime Lives: Mass Observation and the Making of the Modern Self (Paperback)
  • Nine Wartime Lives: Mass Observation and the Making of the Modern Self (Paperback)
zoom

Nine Wartime Lives: Mass Observation and the Making of the Modern Self (Paperback)

(author)
£25.99
Paperback 274 Pages / Published: 16/06/2011
  • We can order this

Usually dispatched within 3 weeks

  • This item has been added to your basket
James Hinton uses diaries kept by nine 'ordinary' people in wartime Britain to re-evaluate the social history of the Second World War, and to reflect on the twentieth-century making of the modern self. These diaries were written by some of the unusually self-reflective and public-spirited people who agreed to write intimate journals about their daily activity for the social research organisation, Mass Observation. One of the nine diarists discussed is Nella Last, whose published diaries have been a source of delight and fascination for many thousands of readers. Alongside her there are chapters on eight other Mass Observers, each in their own way as vivid, interesting, and surprising as Nella herself. A central insight underpins the book: in seeking to make the best of our own lives, each of us makes selective use of the resources of our shared culture in a unique way; and, in so doing, we contribute, however modestly, to molecular processes of historical change. Placing individuals at the centre of his analysis, James Hinton probes the impact of war on attitudes to citizenship, the changing relationships between men and women, and the search for meanings in life that could transcend the wartime context of limitless violence. Consistently sensitive, thoughtful and often moving, this beautifully written book resists nostalgic contrasts between the presumed dutiful citizenship of wartime Britain and contemporary anti-social individualism, pointing instead to longer run processes of change rooted as much in struggles for personal autonomy in the private sphere as in the politics of active citizenship in public life.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199605156
Number of pages: 274
Weight: 443 g
Dimensions: 231 x 158 x 21 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
Review from previous edition [A] welcome, scholarly and illuminating installment in the story without end of the "People's War" * Juliet Gardiner, Financial Times *
The life stories are moving and beautifully described. * Vernon Bogdanor, New Statesman *
A compelling account that presents much that is unexpected about the lived experience of the war. Hinton is to be congratulated on demonstrating the value of a welcome and overdue 'biographical turn' in historical studies. * Penny Summerfield, BBC History Magazine *
Elegantly written and subtle in its analysis, this book will offer much to those interested in the social history of the war, those new to using personal sources, and more generally to those interested in existential questions about life. * Hester Vaizey, Times Higher Education *
[An] absorbing and sophisticated exploration of how the public demands of war intruded into the provate sphere and moulded new identities. * Literary Review *
Skilfully synthesising a dense conceptual literature on themes of modernity, identity and the self, Hinton makes a powerful case for the value of diary-writing to the historian...an immensely enjoyable read. * Review in History *
An absorbing volume packed with illuminating detail and convincing analysis. * Sue Bruley, History Today *
Hintons book is a valuable resource not just for students of mid-century Britain but for anyone interested in the puzzle of modern democratic selfhood. * Alan Allport, Twentieth Century British History *
This is a beautifully written and often moving book; a contribution to both the historiography of the war years and a thoughtful meditation on the construction of selfhood. * Lucy Noakes, English Historical Review *

You may also be interested in...

Arnhem
Added to basket
£25.00   £20.00
Hardback
Must I Repeat Myself...?
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Hardback
The Descent of Man
Added to basket
In My Life
Added to basket
£16.99   £13.99
Hardback
Endeavour
Added to basket
£20.00   £15.00
Hardback
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Added to basket
Seashaken Houses
Added to basket
£16.99   £14.99
Hardback
The Golden Thread
Added to basket
Victorious Century
Added to basket
Stories for Boys Who Dare to be Different
Added to basket
21 Lessons for the 21st Century
Added to basket
£18.99   £15.99
Hardback
Watling Street
Added to basket
£9.99   £7.99
Paperback
The Square and the Tower
Added to basket
£10.99   £8.99
Paperback
The Age of Decadence
Added to basket
£12.99   £10.99
Paperback
Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls 2
Added to basket
Speeches of Note
Added to basket
£25.00   £21.00
Hardback

Reviews

Please sign in to write a review

Your review has been submitted successfully.