Britain at Bay: Book summary and reviews of Britain at Bay by Alan Allport

Britain at Bay

The Epic Story of the Second World War, 1938-1941

by Alan Allport

Britain at Bay by Alan Allport X
Britain at Bay by Alan Allport
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Book Summary

A sweeping, groundbreaking epic that combines military with social history, to illuminate the ways in which Great Britain and its people were permanently transformed by the Second World War.

Here is the many-faceted, world-historically significant story of Britain at war. In looking closely at the military and political dimensions of the conflict's first crucial years, Alan Allport tackles questions such as: Could the war have been avoided? Could it have been lost? Were the strategic decisions the rights ones? How well did the British organize and fight? How well did the British live up to their own values? What difference did the war make in the end to the fate of the nation?

In answering these and other essential questions he focuses on the human contingencies of the war, weighing directly at the roles of individuals and the outcomes determined by luck or chance. Moreover, he looks intimately at the changes in wartime British society and culture. Britain at Bay draws on a large cast of characters--from the leading statesmen and military commanders who made the decisions, to the ordinary men, women, and children who carried them out and lived through their consequences--in a comprehensible and compelling single history of forty-six million people. For better or worse, much of Britain today is ultimately the product of the experiences of 1938-1941.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Allport, a history professor at Syracuse University, delivers a sweeping first installment in a planned two-volume chronicle of Great Britain during WWII...Expertly researched and marvelously written, this sterling history casts an oft-studied subject in a new light." - Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"The first of two volumes in which British historian Allport delivers his opinionated analysis that carries a modest whiff of revisionism...These are familiar events, but Allport's interpretation is superb." - Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

"Britain at Bay is a welcome and highly readable retelling of the story of Britain's entry into the Second World War and its initial survival against great odds. Weaving together grand strategy, high politics and the complexities of British society at the time, Alan Allport deftly demolishes some sacred cows along the way and makes the reader think again about the choices and the odds facing Britain." - Margaret MacMillan, author of Paris 1919

"Original, compelling, timely. This is a history that reminds us of the Britain behind the myth of its Second World War. It's a history that many will want to argue with. And that everyone should read." - Lucy Noakes, Rab Butler Professor of Modern History, University of Essex

"Written with style and verve, Britain at Bay will make you think anew not just about the war, but about the Britain and the Britons that fought it. A book for anyone who wants to understand this crucial period in the nation's history." - Daniel Todman, author of Britain's War

This information about Britain at Bay shown above was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. In most cases, the reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that the reviews shown do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, please send us a message with the mainstream media reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Alan Allport

Alan Allport is a British-born historian, a fellow of the Royal Historical Society, who specializes in the British role in the Second World War. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania and is currently an associate professor of history in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. He is the author of Demobbed: Coming Home After the Second World War (2010), which won the Longman-History Today Book of the Year Award, and Browned Off and Bloody-Minded: The British Soldier Goes to War 1939-1945 (2015). He has also written for several publications, including, The Wall Street Journal, The Times (London), The Literary Review, and the London Review of Books. He lives in Syracuse, New York.

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