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The Long Week-End: A Social History of Great Britain 1918-1939 Paperback – April 17, 2001
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From the Publisher
First published in 1940, this survey of the inter-war period not only includes surface aspects of the erafrom plays and novels to dance fads and fashionsbut also discusses the international influences at work in politics, science, business and religion. Short hair and shorter skirts arrived during the 1920s; "New Education" became a going concern; the British Labour Party became respectable at last; and, as the 1930s wore on, public acknowledgement of the possibility of another world war was feverishly avoided in an ever-increasing whirl of activities.
From the Back Cover
Across this crowded canvas of British life stride the Duke of Windsor and Mrs. Wallis Simpson, Neville Chamberlain, and dozens of other figures great and small who put their stamp on the era.
Top customer reviews
If I could wish for anything, though, I'd ask for a better index. The one included is pretty pitiful. I was looking for information on shell-shock -- what they called PTSD back then -- and couldn't find anything in the index about it. Not even under its "medical" name of neurasthenia. There's actually plenty in the book about shell-shock; it's just difficult to locate because of the shabby index. So to anyone who wants to read the book, read it straight through, or look in the table of contents, but don't bother with the index. Make notes of things you read as you find them, or you're not likely to find them again.
I also wish it were on Kindle....
The book isn't written using a strictly structured or academic style (at least not one clear to this reader) but moves smoothly and in a conversational way between subjects and ideas. It takes that conversation from Armistice in 1918 to the declaration of war against Germany in 1939. The chapters cover subjects as diverse as Revolutionary ideas, Amusements, Domestic life, trends in art and literature, political life, and the Loch Ness monster.
One of the nicer things about this book is the vividness of the detail which Graves and Hodge bring to their subjects. When they write about the night clubs of the 1920s, they bring them to life almost better than the novelists who wrote about the same period. The book is a treasure trove for trivia buffs, armchair historians, or people looking for background color from the period.
That said, it's a long book for such a specific period of British history. While I really enjoyed the read I didn't need so much specific information and there were times when I found myself struggling to keep interest. That's not a reflection on the quality of the book, however, more the needs that I brought to it and shouldn't discourage the potential reader.