The Blitz of 1940-41 is one of the most iconic periods in modern
British history - and one of the most misunderstood. The 'Blitz
spirit' is celebrated by some, whereas others dismiss it as a myth.
Joshua Levine's thrilling biography rejects the tired arguments and
reveals the human truth: the Blitz was a time of extremes of
experience and behaviour. People werepulling together and helping
strangers, but they were also breaking rules and exploiting each
other. Life during wartime, the author reveals, was complex and
messy and real. From the first page readers will discover a
different story to the one they thought they knew - from the
sacrifices made by ordinary people to a sudden surge in the
popularity of nightclubs; from secret criminal trials at the Old
Bailey to a Columbine-style murder in an Oxford college. There were
new working opportunities for women and the appearance of
unfamiliar cultures: whilst prayers were offered up in a south
London mosque, Jamaican sailors were struggling to cross the
country.Unlikely friendships were fostered and surprising
sexualities explored - these years saw a boom in prostitution and
even the emergence of a popular weekly magazine for fetishists. On
the darker side, racketeers and spivs made money out of the chaos,
and looters prowled the night to prey on bomb victims. From the
lack of cheese to the decreased suicide rate, this astonishing and
entertaining book takes the true pulse of a 'blitzed nation'. And
it shows how social change during this time led to political change
- which in turn has built the Britain we know today.
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