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Public Schools and the Second World War (Hardback)

WWII Social History Military

By Sir Anthony Seldon, David Walsh
Imprint: Pen & Sword Military
Pages: 352
Illustrations: 32
ISBN: 9781526750396
Published: 30th September 2020

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RRP £25.00

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Following on from Public Schools and the Great War, Sir Anthony Seldon and David Walsh now examine those same schools in the Second World War. Privileged conservative traditions of private schools were challenged in the inter-war years by the changing social and political landscape, including a greater role for the alumni of girls’ public schools. What was that public school spirit in 1939 and how did it and its products cope with, and contribute to, the requirements of a modern global conflict both physically and intellectually?

The book answers these questions by, for example, examining the public schools’ role in the development and operations of the RAF, in unconventional warfare and code-breaking. At home there was bombing, evacuation and the threat of invasion. Finally, the Authors study how public schools shaped the way the war was interpreted culturally and how they responded to victory in 1945 and hopes of a new social order.

This fascinating book draws widely on primary source material and personal accounts of inspiring courage and endurance.

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

This follows about public schools during world war 2 and about world war 2 itself as well as the changing of social and political landscapes during this time. this shows about the study in how public schools shaped the way the war was told and interpreted culturally and how they responded to victory in 1945!

5 stars a real enjoyable read as i love history!!

NetGalley, Shannon Wadlan
Sir Anthony Seldon

About Sir Anthony Seldon

Sir Anthony Seldon is Vice Chancellor of Buckingham University having previously been the inspirational Master of Wellington College and Headmaster of Brighton College. He has written or edited over 35 books including the standard works on Prime Ministers Major, Blair and Brown. He is the authorised historian to 10 Downing Street. He was knighted in 2014. His wife Joanna died of cancer in 2016.


About David Walsh

David Walsh is former Deputy Head of Tonbridge School and has taught in Australia. He co-authored Public Schools and The Great War (Pen and Sword Military 2013) with Anthony Seldon.

Perfect Partner

Public Schools and The Great War (Hardback)

In this pioneering and original book, Anthony Seldon and David Walsh study the impact that the public schools had on the conduct of the Great War, and vice versa. Drawing on fresh evidence from 200 leading public schools and other archives, they challenge the conventional wisdom that it was the public school ethos that caused needless suffering on the Western Front and elsewhere. They distinguish between the younger front-line officers with recent school experience and the older 'top brass' whose mental outlook was shaped more by military background than by memories of school. The Authors argue…

By Sir Anthony Seldon, David Walsh

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