Monday, 20 August 2018

Britain 1780-1945: Reforming Society


Britain 1780-1945 Vol 2

Britain 1780-1945: Reforming Society develops the ideas and chronological scope that I put forward in my earlier studies of Britain's social and economic development during the late-eighteenth, nineteenth and early-twentieth centuries. The result is a new history of British society between 1780 and 1945. I have taken the opportunity of extending the chronological limits of the book from 1914 to 1945 and have radically restructured my earlier work rewriting each chapter to take account of recent thinking in an attempt to make it less Anglo-centred, white and male in character. The result is an examination of issues ignored in my earlier work, for instance, the ways in which poor relief operated differently in England, Scotland and Ireland and the question of disability. The book begins by examining the critical developments in the transformation of Britain's government, its urbanisation and the problems of housing, the revolution in how people worked and the problems posed by regulation and the problems of the public's health. It then moves on to look at poverty and the state and the nature of voluntary action and the development of a national system of education. The final chapters consider crime, punishment and policing.

Monday, 6 August 2018

Fragments from an Unexceptional Life

We all, in one way or another, live unexceptional lives. We are born, we go to school and increasingly university, we start work, enter relationships that may or may not lead to children who we watch grow into adults and, hopefully after years of retirement, we die. That is the life that most of us experience. We have an impact on our ‘nearest and dearest’ but beyond that our lives will barely cause a ripple in the grand scheme of things. This does not mean that our lives are dull and yet very few of us every put pen to paper so that our lives and what we have learned are ever passed down to future generations. I have read many published and unpublished memoirs of people who serve in or lived through the Second World War and this one is exceptional. It is based on Harold’s collection of information about his experiences that, several decades later, he drew together into the story of how an unexceptional man lived through and coped with exceptional times.
As Harold wrote: '…the accounts are truthful as far as my memory serves me. I haven’t put them into story form because I find that doing so tends to make them read like fiction I have no wish to glorify war. Although I enjoyed my time in the forces generally speaking, I pray that you will never be involved in such a conflict, or in a disaster of any kind.’

Now available on Amazon