Coming Home after the Second World War

336pp 16 ILLUS 2010 LIST PRICE: £25.00 H589



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Despite the gaiety and celebration, the street parties and victory speeches, Britain at the end of the Second World War was troubled, though triumphant. The country was subject to continued rationing and wracked by social disorder and disillusion, and it was the return of men who had fought for their country who seemed to be the cause of the trouble. Most had been absent for years, and the joy of arrival was often clouded with ambivalence. Returning soldiers faced many problems, from reasserting their place in the family to rejoining a much-altered labour force. Civilians worried that their returning heroes had been brutalised and would bring crime and violence with them. Allport draws on personal letters and diaries, on newspapers, reports, novels and films to illuminate the darker side of the homecoming experience – a gripping story in danger of being lost to national memory.