1919: Britain’s Year of Revolution (Hardback)
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1919; Britain’s Year of Revolution tells the story of an almost unknown passage in British history. On the August Bank Holiday that year, the government in London despatched warships to the northern city of Liverpool in an overwhelming show of force. Thousands of troops, backed by tanks, had been trying without success to suppress disorder on the streets. Earlier that year in London, 1000 soldiers had marched on Downing Street, before being disarmed by a battalion of the Grenadier Guards loyal to the government. In Luton that summer, the town hall was burned down by rioters, before the army was brought in to restore order and in Glasgow, artillery and tanks were positioned in the centre of the city to deter what the Secretary of State for Scotland described as a ’Bolshevik uprising’. Industrial unrest and mutiny in the armed forces combined together to produce the fear that Britain was facing the same kind of situation which had led to the Russian Revolution two years earlier.
Drawing chiefly upon contemporary sources, this book describes the sequence of events which looked as though they might be the precursor to a revolution along the lines of those sweeping across Europe at that time. To some observers, it seemed only a matter of time before Britain transformed itself from a constitutional monarchy into a Soviet Republic.
A fantastic insight into the tumult that existed as the British ruling class pushed back against the unrest which World War One and the Russian revolution had unleashed.The Socialist
A very worthy book which would appeal to a wide audience, and would make a fine documentary.Hellbound - Steve Earles
Read the complete review here.
All in all, it is an extraordinary tale that is well told with a clear and readable style. Webb makes a convincing case for the idea that a revolution might have been on the cards in this country a year after the Great War ended, however fanciful this might seem to some readers.Battlefield, Spring 2017 - reviewed by Christopher Newould
An extraordinary tale that is well told with a clear and readable style.The Battlefield Trust
Read it for: A story of unrest and uprising in the aftermath of World War 1Your Family History, April 2017
As featured in.The Daily Mail 14/2/17
As featured in.The Daily Express 14/2/17
'As ever, Webb proves himself to be a consummate researcher, turning back time to allow modern readers to develop an understanding of past events. With so much focus on World War I in recent years due to centenary commemorations, it's fascinating to see how the conflict shaped and changed the country.'Essex Life Magazine
Well written, and easy to read though packed with numerous facts and circumstance the author achieves well his aim of giving an understanding of the events and consequences of the year of potential revolution, 1919.Oxford & Cambridge Club Military History Group
I have always wondered wy Britain didn't have a revolution along the lines of the one that took place in Russia in 1917 - it seems that we almost did! Simon Webb's fantastic book draws on contemporary accounts and describes unrest on a scale that I was totally unaware of. Superb history!Books Monthly, December 2017 – reviewed by Paul Norman
1919: Britain’s Year of Revolution is a lively book, tidily written and covering a wide area of activity in a brisk but informative way. It manages to convey the mood of the period, including the paranoias of Winston Churchill and some other members of the establishment, in an entertaining manner. And it tells how Churchill and certain people in the armed forces got close to treason by plotting the overthrow of the Prime Minister, Lloyd George. Churchill had expressed admiration for Mussolini’s rise in Italy, and it makes one wonder what this country may have been like had his conspiracies succeeded.Penniless Press, Jim Burns
Read the full review here.
As featured in.Bookseller 08.07.16