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British Cultural Memory and the Second World War

Book edited by Lucy Noakes and Juliette Pattinson

Few historical events have resonated as much in modern British culture as the Second World War. It has left a rich legacy in a range of media that continue to attract a wide audience: film, TV and radio, photography and the visual arts, journalism and propaganda, architecture, museums, music and literature. The enduring presence of the war in the public world is echoed in its ongoing centrality in many personal and family memories, with stories of the Second World War being recounted through the generations. This collection brings together recent historical work on the cultural memory of the war, examining its presence in family stories, in popular and material culture and in acts of commemoration in Britain between 1945 and the present.

Table Of Contents

  • Foreword: Memory and the Historians: Ordinary Life, Eventfulness, and the Instinctual Past – Geoff Eley (University of Michigan, USA)
  • 1. Introduction – ‘Keep calm and carry on’: The Cultural Memory of the Second World War in Britain – Lucy Noakes (Brighton University, UK) and Juliette Pattinson (University of Kent, UK)
  • 2. The Generation of Memory: Gender and the Popular Memory of the Second World War in Britain – Penny Summerfield (University of Manchester, UK)
  • 3. ‘War on the web’: The BBC ‘People’s War’ Website and Memories of Fear in Wartime in 21st century Britain – Lucy Noakes
  • 4. The People’s War in Personal Testimony and Bronze: Sorority and the Memorial to the Women of World War II – Corinna M. Peniston-Bird (Lancaster University, UK)
  • 5. ‘When are you going back’: Memory, Ethnicity and the British Home Front – Wendy Ugolini (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • 6. Remembering War, Forgetting Empire? Representations of the North African Campaign in 1950s British Cinema – Martin Francis (University of Cincinnati, USA)
  • 7. ‘A story that will thrill you and make you proud’: The Cultural Memory of Britain’s Secret War in Occupied France – Juliette Pattinson
  • 8. The ‘Missing Chapter’: Bomber Command Aircrew Memoirs in the 1990s and 2000s – Frances Houghton (University of Edinburgh, UK)
  • 9. Total War and Total Anniversary: The Material Culture of Second World War commemoration in Britain – Janet Watson (University of Connecticut, USA)
  • 10. Memory, Meaning and Multidirectionality: ‘Remembering’ Austerity Britain – Rebecca Bramall (Brighton University, UK)

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