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1939: A People's History


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Table of Contents

Section - i: List of Illustrations Section - ii: Maps Introduction - iii: Introduction Chapter - 1: September 1938: 'So, No War!' Chapter - 2: October 1938: 'More Popular than Hitler' Chapter - 3: November 1938: 'We Are Being Hunted Like Hares' Chapter - 4: Winter 1938/1939: 'Does Conscription Mean That the Men Will Have to Go Away?' Chapter - 5: Spring 1939: 'It's Hitler Again: But Don't Worry!' Chapter - 6: April/May 1939: 'We All Love Him Very, Very Much' Chapter - 7: June/July 1939: 'Fine, Fine, Fine. Blue and Sunshine Everywhere' Chapter - 8: 1-22 August 1939: 'To Die for Danzig?' Chapter - 9: 23-31 August 1939: 'Grandmother is Dead' Chapter - 10: 1-3 September 1939: 'So the Madness Unfolds' Acknowledgements - iv: Acknowledgements Section - v: Notes Section - vi: Sources Index - vii: Index

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A vivid people's history of the twelve months leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939.

About the Author

Frederick Taylor was educated at Aylesbury Grammar School, and read History and Modern Languages at Oxford, before postgraduate work at Sussex University. He edited and translated The Goebbels Diaries 1939-41 and is the author of several acclaimed works of history, including Dresden, The Berlin Wall and Coventry. He lives in Cornwall.


A fascinating and well-written book about how two nations embraced the prospect of war. By examining a turbulent year from the ground up, Taylor has inadvertently exposed crucial differences in national characteristics. -- Gerard De Groot * The Times *
Taylor has done us a great service in making the personal stories of what it was actually like to live through the most crucial year of the twentieth century vivid, compelling and salutary -- Roland Philipps
Well-researched and intriguing -- Tim Bouverie * Daily Telegraph *
A sinister and thrilling picture of how the year 1939 developed into war * Who Do You Think You Are Magazine *
Taylor . . . does an excellent job of telling the story of the Coventry raid . . . Taylor's thorough, authoritative account elegantly explains the horrors of that night, as well as the wider story of the raid's significance in the air war's collective descent into barbarism. -- Review of Coventry * Financial Times *
Riveting . . . vivid . . . Taylor's account of flame and ruin in the Midlands in November 1940, superbly researched, shows how terror could come to anyone, anywhere, any time. It still can. -- Review of Coventry * Spectator *
Taylor weaves a chilling narrative from eyewitness accounts and documentary research . . . His account of the air operation . . . is quite superb. -- Review of Dresden * The Times *
This scholarly, objective, sane and well-written book . . . a tremendously powerful work, profoundly moving in the accounts of the ordinary German families who met their deaths that dreadful night. -- Review of Dresden * Evening Standard *

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