Tag World War II

When Britain Saved the West: The Story of 1940

Robin Prior— The year 1940 could have been disastrous for Britain and for the West. Any number of events that occurred during that year might have seen Germany victorious over Britain. As Churchill said of another series of crises in another war, “The terrible ‘If’s’ accumulate.” If the government of

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A Sociological Look at World War Combat

Alan Allport— The Second World War was not just one of the two greatest military efforts ever undertaken by the United Kingdom, but also, albeit quite by chance, one of its two greatest ever sociological experiments. Between 1939 and 1945, Britain mobilized around 5.8 million men and 640,000 women for

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Remembering Clare Hollingworth

Ray Moseley— The legendary adventures of Clare Hollingworth’s life are such stuff as Hollywood movies are made on. And, to continue paraphrasing Prospero, her long life is rounded with a sleep that has attracted front-page headlines in Britain as well as extensive coverage in the U. S. and elsewhere. Hollingworth,

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Hitler at Home: A Conversation with Despina Stratigakos

Adolf Hitler’s makeover from rabble‑rouser to statesman coincided with a series of dramatic home renovations he undertook during the mid‑1930s. In the brand-new book Hitler at Home, author Despina Stratigakos exposes the dictator’s preoccupation with his private persona, which was shaped by the aesthetic and ideological management of his domestic architecture.

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Patrick Modiano’s Paris

Mark Polizzotti— The Paris of Patrick Modiano’s fictions is a city that no longer exists, and perhaps never did. There is a character and a topology typical of his version of the city, a peculiar atmosphere (even when the sun is blazing, the streets seem shrouded in gray), an architecture,

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Ukraine between East and West: The Case of Galicia

Iryna Vushko— In the twenty-first century, the streets of L’viv in Western Ukraine beam with life. The central squares and coffee shops, packed with people into the wee hours of the night, look similar to squares in Poland’s Krakow, which is some six hours away by train, or Hungary’s Budapest

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Saving Civilization?

Robin Prior— I want to highlight the dangers to Western civilization if Britain had succumbed to Nazi Germany in 1940. But to do this, first I’ll make the point, illustrated over the course of history, that the side that wins the war does not necessarily represent all that is best

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Winston Churchill’s Beach Reading: His Top Ten Books

Jonathan Rose— More than most politicians, Winston Churchill was an insatiable reader. He loved to schmooze with authors, and what he read profoundly shaped his political worldview. He never actually published a “Top Ten” list of his favorite books—but if he had, it might have been something like this: The

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Browned Off and Bloody Minded: The British Soldier in WWII

More than three-and-a-half million men served in the British Army during the Second World War, the vast majority of them civilians who had never expected to become soldiers and had little idea what military life, with all its strange rituals, discomforts and dangers, might entail. Alan Allport, author of Browned Off and

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The Siege of Bastogne Up Close and Personal

In the harsh winter of 1944-45, the month-long battle for Bastogne, a town with a peacetime population of 4,000 and seven roads, claimed 23,000 American and 25,000 German lives. To commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the siege, which was part of the larger Battle of the Bulge, historian Peter Schrijvers, author of

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