Books: Ow! That Unlovely War

THE PEOPLE'S WAR, BRITAIN 1939-1945 by Angus Calder. 656 pages. Pantheon. $8.95.

In the Century of the Common Man, the grandeurs and miseries of war were extended to more and more of the hitherto underprivileged. The guns of August (1914) ushered in universal conscription to sustain the mass armies. The warplanes of 1939 ensured a mass distribution of war to civilians—sadly changed from keeping the home fires burning to putting them out. Such thoughts are provoked by Angus Calder's The People's War.

The title is just. For the British, this was not so much...

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