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New Review (4)

April 7, 2015

James Lingard’s Britain at War 1939 to 1945 has received a further 5 star review from Hawaii. This reads:

The Hook: Britain during the WWII

I received a copy of this book from the author, through LibraryThing, in exchange for an honest review.

As as student of European History, you can see why this appealed to me. And I received this copy during my studies of Western Civilization so this was bonus material for me.

And I wasn’t disappointed.

Before I get into it, let me be clear that I did not read this book to fact check. I read this book to gain insight to what life was like in Europe, and in this case Britain, during the war. It was before my time, you see, and I am curious enough to want to have an idea of what it may have been like. I have an idea of how WWII impacted Hawaii, but this is Europe. And it is in this sense that Lingard has offered a valuable perspective.

I like the way the book is organized. It’s a timeline of events, but it’s in a format I like and understand. Chapter 1 being about pre-war life, Chapter 18 about the victory, and everything in between. It’s easy to follow which makes it easy to tag reference points–an item of importance to those of us who love to take notes. We do a lot of that so we can reread things, process things, and eventually form our opinion of things, backed by the evidence we’ve tagged and noted.

I also like that this accounting of events are told from the perspective of someone who actually experienced events. I’ve heard some accounts of WWII in Hawaii from my grandmother and I love those stories because it’s coming from someone who actually witnessed the aftermath. It’s the same feel with this book. As mentioned in the first line of the introduction:

As far as possible, this history of the Second World War is written from the standpoint of people actually involved.

And if you didn’t know, that’s a historian’s weakness. We’re a sucker for primary resources and this book can be put into that category. It’s first witness account of the chain of events that is World War II.

The flow of information reads like a journal, which I love. The text doesn’t get too heavy where you need to reread a paragraph a few times to process it correctly. Lingard has also taken what can be a dense subject and presents it in a way that the reader can easily grasp the idea of what it may have been like during this period in time.

In my opinion, Lingard accomplishes what he set out to do: to give the reader an idea of what living in Britain was like during the Second World War. He covers the progression of the war throughout Europe and told from the perspective of a Britain resident. This knowledge, coupled with my recent studies of Western Civilization, has provided a well-rounded perspective of WWII history. History isn’t just about the events that happened, but the impact those events had on the people, on society. I feel history can never be complete unless we see it through the eyes of those it affected, which Lingard does a great job with.

Overall, I’m glad to have this book in my library and would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn anything about history, especially what life during WWII may have been like. Thank you, James, for providing this perspective.


In Defiance of Danger

August 12, 2013

This book is now listed on goodreads


July 31, 2013

My 3 latest books have been reviewed:
Must read, 2 Jun 2013
By Char – See all my reviews
This review is from: In Defiance of Danger (Kindle Edition)
An absolute must read for war story lovers. Revealing and compelling short stories that thrill as well as inform the reader.

Excellent, 2 Jun 2013
Char – See all my reviews
This review is from: Escape From Iran Israeli Style (Kindle Edition)
A great book to read for war literature lovers. Excellent writing and captivating story. Enjoyed it from beginning to end.

Powerful thriller, 2 Jun 2013
By Char – See all my reviews
This review is from: The Dead Man Strikes Back (Kindle Edition)
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this action packed thriller, an excellently written and fast moving story that makes you want to keep reading.

BRITAIN AT WAR 1939 to 1945

January 6, 2013

BRITAIN AT WAR 1939 to 1945.

Many people are interested in what it was like to live in wartime Britain. This prompted me to write BRITAIN AT WAR 1939 to 1945 What was life like during the war? by James Lingard (paperback ISBN 9781434359339) (Kindle ASIN: B005QNPQLE) (ebook 9781434359346). The book gives ‘an excellent easy to digest overview of the key events that affected Britain during World War two’(History Direct and History Times (May 2009) and presents a fascinating insight into the trials of civilian life in Britain during the war.

It has received a number of very good reviews, including:

UCL People (University College London) (March 2009) ‘A memoir of boyhood in Britain during World War II, this short but powerful book brings together personal reflections with the historical and political context. The author’s memories are interwoven with quotations from Churchill’s speeches and overviews of the major campaigns.’

Practical Family History (April 2009) ‘Written from the standpoint of the people who were involved, Britain at War brings the period alive with accurate facts and figures to illuminate the personal experiences described in their fascinating stories.’

The History Magazine (Spring Issue 2009) James Lingard gives us a picture of how a small boy saw life in the war interspersed with a potted history of the war to put things in context. He gives a graphic description of bombing raids and tells of how as a four year old boy he was nearly arrested as a spy just because he waved to a German plane. This book gives historically accurate facts and figures and cuts through the propaganda which was fed to the wartime public. I enjoyed this book’

The Sunday Times of Canada wrote: ‘A great book by James Lingard introduces the reader to the harsh realities of war.’

The Historical Association – a charity which supports teachers in primary and secondary education but also academics at all levels and anyone interested in history – has recommended the book to members. The book brings alive the harsh realities of life in Britain during the war – life full of uncertainty and the danger of impending death. It also provides a concise history of the salient campaigns in World War 2 ideal for anyone who lacks the time or inclination to study the larger works.


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