The Thirties: An Intimate History of Britain
As 'Wartime' did for the 1940s, this book will grasp the broad spectrum of events in the 1930s in the words of contemporary witnesses drawn from metropolitan and provincial letters and diaries, newspapers, periodicals, books and the range of rich material available in the British Library. J.B. Priestley famously described the 'three Englands' he saw in the 1930s: Old England, nineteenth-century England and the new, post-war England. Thirties Britain was, indeed, a land of contrasts, at once a nation rendered hopeless by the Depression, unemployment and international tensions, yet also a place of complacent suburban home-owners with a baby Austin in every garage. Now Juliet Gardiner, acclaimed author of the award-winning Wartime, provides a fresh perspective on that restless, uncertain, ambitious decade, bringing the complex experience of thirties Britain alive through newspapers, magazines, memoirs, letters and diaries. Gardiner captures the essence of a people part-mesmerised by 'modernism' in architecture, art and the proliferation of 'dream palaces', by the cult of fitness and fresh air, the obsession with speed, the growth and regimentation of leisure, the democratisation of the countryside, the celebration of elegance, glamour and sensation. Yet, at the same time, this was a nation imbued with a pervasive awareness of loss -- of Britain's influence in the world, of accepted political, social and cultural signposts, and finally of peace itself.
'The cinematic clarity of Gardiner's descriptions of accidents and ceremonies tells more about the decade than a page of statistics.!or the depth of its research, the quality of the writing and the sheer richness and vibrancy of the material, this is a quite outstanding work of social history' Telegraph 'It is comfortably the definitive account of a decade that has been much maligned' Daily Telegraph 'A definitive, vividly detailed book on a complex decade, which is a joy to read' History Today Reviews for "Wartime": "Juliet Gardiner's Wartime vibrantly captures, through personal accounts and vast research, what Britain was like under the siege, while at the same time giving a clear picture of the wider war in which its servicemen and women fought. She summons up the atmosphere and the emotions of the time vividly" Daily Mail "It's all here in Juliet Gardiner's ambitious new study of life in wartime Britain. A minor monument of scholarship, this book is big in both size and scope, but biggest of all in terms of sheer exhilarating readability" The Scotsman
Juliet Gardiner is a respected commentator on British social history from the Victorian times through to the 1950s. She was editor of 'History Today' magazine and is also author of the critically acclaimed and bestselling 'Wartime'.