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'Home Fronts - Britain and the Empire at War, 1939-45'

Published: July 27, 2017

Mark J Crowley and Sandra Trudgen Dawson have recently published their edited volume, 'Home Fronts - Britain and the Empire at War, 1939-45' with Boydell Press (July 21, 2017).  The book features contributions from several NACBS members, including Nadja Durbach, Jean Smith and Peter Thorsheim, together with individual chapters by the editors.

There is increasing interest in the "home front" during the Second World War, including issues such as how people coped with rationing, how women worked to contribute to the war effort, and how civilian morale fluctuated over time. Most studies on this subject are confined to Britain, or to a single other colonial territory, neglecting the fact that Britain controlled a large Empire and that there were numerous "home fronts", each of which contributed greatly to the war effort but each in slightly different ways. This book considers "home fronts" from an overall imperial perspective and in a broad array of territories - Australia, India, South Africa, Ceylon, Palestine and Kenya as well as Britain. It examines many aspects of wartime life - food, communications, bombing, volunteering, internment and more, and discusses important themes including identity, gender, inequality, and the relationship between civilians and the state. Besides case studies outlining the detail of the situation in different territories and in different areas of life, the book assesses "home fronts" across the Empire in a comprehensive way, setting the case studies in their wider context, and placing the subject in, and advancing, the historiography.

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