The British and Commonwealth Armies and the Second World War
Cambridge University Press 2019
Jonathan Fennell’s new book, Fighting the People's War: The British and Commonwealth Armies and the Second World War (Cambridge University Press, 2019) is an unprecedented, panoramic history of the 'citizen armies' of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa, the core of the British and Commonwealth armies in the Second World War. Drawing on new primary source material to reveal the varied wartime experiences of the ordinary rank and file soldier; Fennell who is Senior Lecturer at the Defence Studies Department, King’s College London, challenges our understanding of the Second World War and of the relationship between conflict and socio-political change. He uncovers how fractures on the home front had profound implications for the performance of the British and Commonwealth armies and he traces how soldiers' political beliefs, many of which emerged as a consequence of their combat experience, proved instrumental to the socio-political changes of the postwar era. Fighting the People's War transforms our understanding of how the great battles were won and lost as well as how the postwar societies were forged. A book which is as pleasurable as it is engrossing to read. A must-read book for anyone who is interested in the Second World War.
Charles Coutinho has a doctorate in history from New York University. Where he studied with Tony Judt, Stewart Stehlin and McGeorge Bundy. His Ph. D. dissertation was on Anglo-American relations in the run-up to the Suez Crisis of 1956. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written recently for the Journal of Intelligence History and Chatham House’s International Affairs. It you have a recent title to suggest for a podcast, please send an e-mail to Charlescoutinho@aol.com.
Charles Coutinho Ph. D. of the Royal Historical Society, received his doctorate from New York University. His area of specialization is 19th and 20th-century European, American diplomatic and political history. He has written for Chatham House’s International Affairs, the Institute of Historical Research's Reviews in History and the University of Rouen's online periodical Cercles.