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  • Edited by Hew Strachan, University of St Andrews, Scotland
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Book description

The First World War required the mobilisation of entire societies, regardless of age or gender. The phrase 'home front' was itself a product of the war with parts of Britain literally a war front, coming under enemy attack from the sea and increasingly the air. However, the home front also conveyed the war's impact on almost every aspect of British life, economic, social and domestic. In the fullest account to-date, leading historians show how the war blurred the division between what was military and not, and how it made many conscious of their national identities for the first time. They reveal how its impact changed Britain for ever, transforming the monarchy, promoting systematic cabinet government, and prompting state intervention in a country which prided itself on its liberalism and its support for free trade. In many respects we still live with the consequences.


‘This is the most comprehensive reassessment of the ‘Home Front' in the United Kingdom that has been published for a generation. It will provide an indispensable starting point for future scholars of the war and helpful and enlightening reading to those who have a general interest in Britain and Ireland during this period.'

Adrian Gregory - author of The Last Great War: British Society and the First World War

‘In the fullest study in a generation, leading historians use social, economic, cultural, and political history to shine new light on Britain's home front in the Great War. They show why civilians were central to a ‘total war' and integrate Ireland as part of the United Kingdom of the period.'

John Horne - editor of A Companion to World War I

‘This collection makes a vital contribution to the political, economic and social history of the First World War. Drawing on the expertise of leading scholars in their fields, it provides a comprehensive study of the British Home Front. It forms an essential addition to the historical literature of the war.' 

Jessica Meyer - author of Men of War: Masculinity and the First World War in Britain

‘Hew Strachan's edited volume adds a strong scholarly voice to the chorus of commemoration still echoing from the centenary of the Great War.  Here is a book which respects local identities and imperial loyalties, and shows how British initiatives in the management of manpower, production and finance underwrote victory in the 1914-18 war.'

Jay Winter - author of Sites of Memory, Sites of Mourning: The Great War in European Cultural History

'a snapshot of cutting-edge historical research … impressive and important. It brings together over 30 scholars writing on a disparate array of topics, illustrated by contemporary photographs, cartoons and posters. Scholarly collections, particularly of conference proceedings, have a nasty habit of being bit of a ragbag, lacking a coherent theme, but this is emphatically not true of this book.’

Gary Sheffield Source: The Western Front Association

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