What happened when millions of British servicemen were "demobbed"--demobilized--after World War II? Most had been absent for years, and the joy of arrival was often clouded with ambivalence, regrets, and fears. Returning soldiers faced both practical and psychological problems, from reasserting their place in the family home to rejoining a much-altered labor force. Civilians worried that their homecoming heroes had been barbarized by their experiences and would bring crime and violence back from the battlefield. Drawing on personal letters and diaries, newspapers, reports, novels, and films, Alan Allport illuminates the darker side of the homecoming experience for ex-servicemen, their families, and society at large--a gripping story that's in danger of being lost to national memory.
"'A highly impressive debut, demonstrating great scholarship and an ability to balance the humane detail of fractured lives with a wider perspective of the political and social context... certainly the most insightful text on the 1940s to have appeared this year.' Ian Cawood, Times Literary Supplement 'Allport's wonderfully insightful study asks us to rethink the conventional chronology... It is not only refreshingly free of jargon but remarkably moving. If all academic history were written this way, popular historians would be out of a job.' Dominic Sandbrook, Sunday Times 'A masterful study of the subject... Demobbed is a detailed and sympathetic examination of this difficult story. Making imaginative use of contemporary court and press accounts as well as the holdings of the Imperial War Museum Archive, it outlines the tribulations of a damaged generation, intertwining personal testimony with the author's thoughtful and cogent analysis... [Demobbed] wears its erudition lightly and has a pleasing, easy style.' BBC History Magazine"
Number Of Pages: 280
Published: 6th August 2010
Publisher: Yale University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2
Weight (kg): 0.36