Half the Battle: Civilian Morale in Britain During the Second World War
Manchester University Press, 2002 - 282 pages
How well did civilian morale stand up to the pressures of total war and what factors were important to it? This work offers a robust rejection of contentions that civilian morale fell a long way short of the favourable picture presented during World War II and in hundreds of books and films ever since. It acknowledges that some negative attitudes and behaviours existed - panic and defeatism, ration-cheating and black-marketeering, looting, absenteeism and strikes - but argues that these involved a very small minority of the population. Robert Mackay demostrates how government policies for the maintainence of morale were put in place, giving special emphasis to the patriotic feeling that held the nation together despite the official pessimistic prognosis in the initial stages of the war.
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A united nation?
Preparing for the storm
The view from below
War experienced September 1939May 1941
The Phoney War
The Emergency MaySeptember 1940
The Big Blitz
Easing the strain
Recreation and leisure
Some essential inessentials
Beveridge and all that
War experienced 194145
Working and not working
Persuading the people
Controlling the news
The propaganda of reassurance
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