Millions Like Us?

BookMillions Like Us?

Millions Like Us?

British Culture in the Second World War


April 1st, 1999

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This collection of essays brings together the latest historical research on cultural production and reception during the Second World War. Its starting point is how this war was presented to, and understood by, contemporaries and how they differentiated it from earlier conflicts. Although this was particularly noticeable in the construction of ideas of inclusiveness and commonality where ‘the people’ pulled together to secure victory and a socially equitable peace, the essays also seek to explore the diversity of institutional and personal experiences. Essays look at major national institutions and industries such as the recently formed BBC, the culturally diverse and rapidly expanding commercial press, and the British film industry. The collection explores the role of the individual agent, with studies on established writers and composers, and how each related to the collective rationales of wartime.

Author Information

Nick Hayes is Reader in Urban History at Nottingham Trent University. Jeff Hill is Emeritus Professor of Historical and Cultural Studies at De Montfort University.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
List of Figures and Tables7
Notes on Contributors8
An ‘English War’, Wartime Culture and ‘Millions Like Us’11
British Cinema and ‘The People’s War’43
The People’s Radio: The BBC and its Audience, 1939-194572
Was it the Mirror Wot Won it? The Development of the Tabloid Press During the Second World War103
A More Even Playing Field? Sport During and After the War135
A Time for Hard Writers: The Impact of War on Women Writers166
Safe and Sound: New Music in Wartime Britain189
More Than ‘Music-While-You-Eat’? Factory and Hostel Concerts, ‘Good Culture’ and the Workers219
‘When Work Is Over’: Labour, Leisure and Culture in Wartime Britain246
Not Just a Case of Baths, Canteens and Rehabilitation Centres: The Second World War and the Recreational Provision of the Miners’ Welfare Commission in Coalmining Communities271
‘You and I – All of Us Ordinary People’: Renegotiating ‘Britishness’ in Wartime305
Postscript: A War Imagined333