From Publishers Weekly
Three million boisterous, materialist and decidedly horny U.S. servicemen "occupied" Britain between 1942 and 1945, taking over large tracts of land for bases and depots, and Americanizing the country in ways that tended to be traumatic. Reynolds's vibrant social history, based on official papers, letters, diaries, memoirs and interviews, captures the GIs and Brits in their wartime moment together, mirroring the contrasts between their two countries. His purview is sweeping; he pays prolonged attention to Anglo-American romance in a way that eschews Glenn Miller sentimentality. Reynolds is frank about out-of-wedlock maternities, venereal disease and the racial aspect of relations between British women and black GIs. He goes on to discuss the surge in Anglo-American marriages during the final months of the war, then explores the culture shock British war brides felt in the States and black GIs' difficulties reaccommodating themselves to racism at home after their hospitable treatment overseas. Author of Britannia Overruled, Reynolds directs the history program at Christ's College, Cambridge, England. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
Whether praised as saviors of the Western Alliance or castigated as "overpaid, oversexed, and over here," the American forces that overwhelmed Britain in World War II have been a stable item of military folklore ever since. There was more to the situation than a quaint culture clash, however, and both nations had to work hard to maintain an amicable wartime relationship. British historian Reynolds has performed the first in-depth analysis of the American GI's impact on his war-stressed host. A longtime student of Anglo-American relations, Reynolds deftly examines each group's social mores and class structure and shows how each was operating under highly unnatural conditions. His well-researched study of the racial situation alone makes the book valuable to modern readers. Although not popular history in the usual sense, this book is readable and anecdotal enough for the average military enthusiast. Recommended for military and historical collections.Raymond L. Puffer, U.S. Air Force History Prog., Edwards AFB, Cal.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.