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Captives of War

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Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. Capture; 2. Imprisoned servicemen; 3. Bonds between men; 4. Ties with home; 5. Going 'round the bend'; 6. Liberation; 7. Resettling; Conclusion.

About the Author

Clare Makepeace is an Honorary Research Fellow at Birkbeck, University of London, and a guest lecturer at the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge. She is a historian of British servicemen experiences in the two World Wars. She has published in numerous academic books and journals, as well as History Today, BBC History Magazine, BBC news online and the Daily Mail. She works with media professionals in a consultancy and on-air capacity and has contributed to programmes for BBC One, BBC Radio 5 live and local radio outlets. Her work on prostitution in World War One recently inspired an Arts Council-funded regional theatre production.


'Clare Makepeace is a rare historian able to combine depth of knowledge with exquisite sensitivity. By delving into the intimate lives of prisoners of war, Makepeace reveals the primacy of domestic ties in the inner lives of these captives, and emphasises the range and complexity of different masculinities. The book is a 'must read', not only for people curious about war and captivity, but also for anyone interested in the history of everyday lives'. Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck, University of London 'This is a profoundly important new history of Second World War captivity. Through the experience of British prisoners of war, Clare Makepeace provides a groundbreaking appraisal of the impact of war upon masculine identity. A tour de force addition to the cultural history of modern warfare'. , Heather Jones, London School of Economics and Political Science 'British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War offers a rare combination of impeccable scholarship coupled with deep humanity for the men who lived through the history. British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War is teeming with vivid stories and compelling voices. Every page adds another level of understanding to what it must have been like to experience captivity. This riveting account will appeal to anyone fascinated by history - but also to any reader interested in how we respond to adversity'. Midge Gillies, author of The Barbed-Wire University (2012) 'By weaving together the diaries and letters of those involved with official sources, and with insights from psychology, sociology and history, Clare Makepeace shows what everyday captivity entailed for the many thousands of British servicemen captured by the Axis powers behind barbed wire. Carefully constructed and well-written, British Prisoners of War in Europe in the Second World War breaks new ground in the understanding of the social and cultural history of British prisoners of war in the Second World War.' Bob Moore, University of Sheffield 'A fascinating, compassionate and evocative exploration of the highs and lows of life in captivity, told directly and contemporaneously by the men experiencing it.' Greg Taylor, Phoenix Magazine 'A pioneering study ... an invaluable reference for historians and family researchers alike.' Mark Simner, Who Do You Think You Are '... a poignant, at times searing human story ... This pioneering examination is remarkable for the richness of its source material, depth of scholarship, and sensitive analysis.' Kristen Alexander, Twentieth Century British History '... an extremely interesting read, which I would recommend to all psychologists and others interested in the psychology of war, warfare and survival psychology.' Jamie Hacker Hughes, The Psychologist

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