Public Schools and the Second World War

Public Schools and the Second World War written by David Walsh & Anthony Seldon and published by Pen and Sword Books £25.00 – Hardback – Pages 352.

This book follows on from the first book about Public Schools in the First World War, this book looks at the Second World War. This book looks at the contribution of the public school alumni and their efforts in all aspects of the war. The book involves a number of stories and that revolve all around all of the armed forces surrounding the war on land, air and sea. The book looks at trying to beat all the exclusivity of aspects of the war and bring about a social cohesion throughout the population especially as they were all fighting the ‘people’s war’. We read about the knock on effect on society post second and first world war and how this has shaped modern Britain and its ways.

This book is certainly very interesting and picks up on a number of well-known faces such as Churchill, Atlee, Montgomery and Turin to name a few. It also looks at number of events during the war such as the Battle of Britain, the fight for the Atlantic and places such as Bletchley Park. Now in my opinion and maybe it’s because I have a socialist leaning, the book misses certain aspects or could have been more comprehensive about looking at interaction and why people behaved how they do. I personally think having one of the authors who did actually attend a public school rather than both authors being from private education. But I should say this is my opinion only and others might thoroughly disagree. But my opinions aside this actually a very god book, well written and full of excellent detail. The book is further improved by having a very good bibliography, notes and reference section. So in conclusion this is a very good social history book and will go down well with a lot of readers.

Ben Davidson

Hello, I have been studying all aspects of history for about 25 years. I have a BA History from the University of Bedfordshire. My historical areas of interest are anything really, but I specialise in 19th - 20th century Britain, America and Ireland. I am also strongly aligned with most military history, really enjoying WW2 and the US Civil War. Chuck in the king or queen and Bob's your uncle.

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