Austerity Britain: 1945-51 (Tales of a New Jerusalem, Volume 1)
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A majestic people’s history of England in the years immediately following the end of World War II, and a surprise bestseller in the UK.
As much as any country, England bore the brunt of Germany’s aggression in World War II , and was ravaged in many ways at the war’s end. Celebrated historian David Kynaston has written an utterly original, compellingly readable account of the following six years, during which the country indomitably rebuilt itself. Kynaston’s great genius is to chronicle England’s experience from bottom to top: coursing through the book, therefore, is an astonishing variety of ordinary, contemporary voices, eloquently and passionately displaying the country’s remarkable spirit even as they were unaware of what the future would hold. Together they present a fascinating portrait of the English people at a climactic point in history, and Kynaston skillfully links their stories to the bigger, headline-making events of the time. Their stories also jostle alongside those of more well-known figures like celebrated journalist-to-be Jon Arlott (making his first radio broadcast), actress Glenda Jackson, and writer Doris Lessing, newly arrived from Africa and struck by the leveling poverty of postwar Britain.
Alarming rapidity. ‘The Government are in these matters, as in all others, worried, nervy, and incapable of reaching decisions,’ privately declared one of the Bank of England’s executive directors, ‘Ruby’ Holland-Martin, towards the end of the week.4. Finally, on Sunday the 17th, the Cabinet decided there was no alternative but to suspend convertibility. There were three more days of the Fifth Test at The Oval – Compton taking another century off South Africa, while according to Wisden ‘the.
A father myself’ was how Wilson began his able, detailed defence. ‘I’ve got two small boys – one five years old and the other only seven months – and I assure you that my wife wouldn’t let me go for long without learning about the difficulties the mother and housewife has today.’ In March, not long before he was photographed tearing up a clothes-ration book, he sat next to the Liberal grandee Violet Bonham Carter at a dinner at the American Embassy, with the Foreign Secretary, Ernest Bevin, on.
British CP? The evidence, cumulatively, is not flattering. For all the seriousness and noble intentions of many of the members, there was an almost unwavering allegiance to the Stalin line (at times descending into Stalin worship), and from the leadership an aggressive unwillingness to allow any dissent or deviation. ‘That time produced one of the sharpest mental frosts I can remember on the Left,’ the historian E. P. Thompson would recall from personal knowledge of the CP in the late 1940s and.
Underwhelming electoral performance of the Scottish Nationalists. ‘Despite the miserable showing so far as votes go,’ one of its badly defeated candidates, the poet and left-wing controversialist Hugh MacDiarmid (standing under his real name, C. M. Grieve), optimistically reflected soon afterwards, ‘“it’s coming yet for a’ that.” While not reflected in the voting, the awakened interest in and attention to Scottish affairs of all kinds is most marked everywhere.’23 In the event, the.
Neighbours (‘two M22B, twin brothers, and F25B’, in other words two 22-year-old middle-class men and a 25-year-old middle-class woman): They say the pub has sold out of everything but gin, so Inv. gets four gins, and a few minutes later – a little late for the start – the King’s speech is turned on. Several women at the back of the lounge stand up, assuming reverent attitudes. There is a sense that people have been waiting all this time for something symbolic and now they have got it: the room.