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The Home Guard: A Military and Political History (Hardback)
  • The Home Guard: A Military and Political History (Hardback)
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The Home Guard: A Military and Political History (Hardback)

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£115.00
Hardback 276 Pages / Published: 18/05/1995
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Today we laugh at 'Dad's Army', but in 1940 the threat of a German invasion of Britain was a very real one. S. P. MacKenzie's detailed and readable history of the Home Guard offers a new perspective on the men who took up the challenge. Despite its popular image of old men and teenagers playing soldiers, the Home Guard, often as large as the wartime army, became an astonishingly strong political force in its own right. Quite literally the people in arms it proved able to exert a good deal of influence on policy. The threat of invasion receded and the Home Guard was never called upon to fulfil its military role, though there was a brief attempt to resurrect it in the 1950s. Since then it has been largely neglected by military historians and there have been few serious examinations of the part it played in the Home Front. This book, both entertaining and scholarly, fills that gap.

Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780198205777
Number of pages: 276
Weight: 692 g
Dimensions: 242 x 162 x 27 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
`fascinating and true ... painstakingly thorough ... [covers] every aspect of the Home Guard from May 1940 to December 1945 ... The Home Guard is one of those rare things: a serious, intelligent book that is also very funny' Literary Review
`lively book ... in a fascinating coda, he shows how the cold war led to plans for a new Home Guard - this time, to beat off the Red Menace' New Statesman and Society
this well researched, cross-referenced, academic study shows that the saga of this volunteer force was funnier and more confused than any scriptwriter could invent * Times Higher Education Supplement *
Like the TV how, this is a most entertaining book, but, unlike the comedy, it is also an accurate, detailed and very readable history of a remarkable organisation, which became a political force in its own right. A most readable and enjoyable book which I can thoroughly recommend. * Tanl Magazine *
readable and well-researched * Times Literary Supplement *
Mackenzie's study is well-written and thoroughly researched. * The State *
Despite S. P. MacKenzie's claim that his book, The Home Guard, is not the definitive study of the Home Guard, in some ways the book will become just that ... well-written and thoroughly researched book ... The Home Guard makes an important contribution to our understanding not only of World War II, but also of the complex linkages between military service, public morale, political power, and policy making. * David K. Yelton, Gardner-Webb University, The Journal of Military History, Oct '96 *
an intelligent, entertaining account of the Home Guard's activities which seriously examines the contribution made by the force to the War effort and reveals how its rise and fall were shaped by political as well as military considerations * Books Magazine *
absorbing little book ... MacKenzie has done a useful service in exploring this largely neglected chapter in history. * Max Davidson, The Daily Telegraph *
A new perspective on "Dad's Army" and an intelligent, entertaining account of the Home Guard's activities which seriously examines the contribution made by the force to the War effort and reveals how its rise and fall were shaped by political as well as military considerations. * Books Magazine *
a very good history of the force ... The extent of the author's research is indicated by the bibliography, the extensive use of manuscript sources at the PRO and many local record offices, private papers, memoirs and the regimental histories, provide for us the best list of sources available so far. This is an essential book for all those who wish to understand the Home Guard. * The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society, Volume 46, No. 184, May 1996 *
This could well be the difinitive history on a subject which has been rather neglected...the writing is refreshingly free of oral and anecdotal evidence and there has been considerable research into War Office Cabinet papers...Throughout, all references and bibliography are clearly listed in this, an excellent new book, at a very moderate price. * The Bulletin of the Military Historical Society *

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