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The Enemy Within : Hucksters, Racketeers, Deserters, and Civilians During the Second World War - Donald Thomas

The Enemy Within

Hucksters, Racketeers, Deserters, and Civilians During the Second World War

Hardcover Published: 1st May 2004
ISBN: 9780814782866
Number Of Pages: 429

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View the Table of Contents . Read the Preface . "This fascinating account, told in relentless detail, deserves a wide readership."--ChoiceInternational Acclaim: "Thomas has written a quite enchanting book, magnificently researched, and cleverly and wittily presented. . . . I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Quite outstanding." --The Irish Times "[This] book is mesmerizing and is an unputdownable and brilliantly researched page-turner. An important and riveting study in social history." --The Sunday Times "Donald Thomas has chronicled one of the last untold stories of the war, and he does so with scholarship as well as humor." --The Spectator "Beautifully written, utterly compelling: almost without fault in every respect." --The Literary Review While the Second World War produced numerous acts of self-sacrifice, it also made many people rich. The criminal activities of the British underworld that extended from the civilian population right through to the armed forces constitute one of the great untold stories of the war. The Blitz of 1940 may have made a nation of heroes, but in the shadows the shelter gangs and looters prowled. Acclaimed author Donald Thomas draws on extensive archival material for these tales of profiteering. He retells how between 1940 and 1941 a Liverpool ship repairer cheated the government of the modern equivalent of $30 million, while $120 million a month was looted from relief supplies at the port of Trieste. Professional gangs raided British government offices for ration books, and underground presses counterfeited gasoline and clothing coupons by the tens of thousands. Illegal food supplies threatened the nation's health--a consignment of black market sausages in Hackney contained tuberculous meat, while the industrial alcohol, or "hooch", served to pilots in London's West End clubs could produce blindness and brain damage. The Enemy Withinalso recounts colossal theft within the army. Vehicles would arrive at front line railheads stripped of tools, spare parts, and removable components, and whole consignments of cigarettes and razor blades disappeared. In addition to these stories,The Enemy Withinincludes revealing photos of known law-breakers, victims, and illegal transactions. The facts Thomas uncovers are often so preposterous that in a novel they would seem unbelievable. These are the extraordinary and often absurd stories of less-than-heroic Britons.

"Beautifully written, utterly compelling: almost without fault in every respect." -The Literary Review "[This] book is mesmerizing and is an unputdownable and brilliantly researched page-turner. An important and riveting study in social history." -The Sunday Times "Donald Thomas has chronicled one of the last untold stories of the war, and he does so with scholarship as well as humor." -The Spectator "This fascinating account, told in relentless detail, deserves a wide readership." -Choice International Acclaim: "Thomas has written a quite enchanting book, magnificently researched, and cleverly and wittily presented... I cannot recommend this book highly enough. Quite outstanding." -The Irish Times

ContentsIllustrations Preface 1. The Lost Peace 2. 'Don't You Know There's a War On?' 3. Running for Cover: The Dodgers and the Dealers 4. The Bomb Lark 5. Deeds of Darkness 6. Opportunity Knocks: The Civilians 7. Under the Counter 8. Hot Off the Press 9. 'You're in the Army Now!' 10. Pay Parade 11. The Yanks Are Coming 12. Clubland 13. Going to the Dogs 14. 'Do Not Forget to Guard the Turkey in Your Car' 15. The Mis?ts 16. 'Sacri?ce Was No Longer in Fashion' 17. 'The Best Government that Money Can Buy' Notes Index

ISBN: 9780814782866
ISBN-10: 0814782868
Audience: Tertiary; University or College
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 429
Published: 1st May 2004
Publisher: New York University Press
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 22.9 x 15.2  x 3.8
Weight (kg): 0.79