The Battle of London 1939-45


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About the Author

Professor Jerry White teaches London history at Birkbeck, University of London. He is the author of an acclaimed trilogy of London from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries. His more recent books include Mansions of Misery- A Biography of the Marshalsea Debtors' Prison and Zeppelin Nights, a social history of London during the First World War. He was awarded the honorary degree of Doctor of Literature by the University of London in 2005 and is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society.


Jerry White is one of London's best historians...and in this enveloping book he tries to scrape away the myths that have obscured our view of the Second World War and reintroduce us to what life in the city between 1939 and 1945 was actually like -- Andrew Holgate * Sunday Times *
As a history of the capital in wartime, it is probably unsurpassable... From the Myra Hess lunchtime concerts at the National Gallery, to the extraordinary resilience and bravery of Londoners... all can be found in this book -- Anne de Courcy * Sunday Telegraph *
The Battle of London 1939-45... benefits hugely from a vast and well-chosen range of quotes and anecdotes, conjuring the atmosphere of a city under siege with vivid force. What's most striking in this raw and comprehensive portrait of a city on fire is just how enchanting and appealing it is: you actually start wishing you had been alive to witness it -- Sebastian Milbank * Tablet *
[An] impressive history of the capital at war... White, an accomplished chronicler of London's history, tells it with brio and a confident mastery of the sources. He has a good nose for a piquant anecdote and clear-eyed awareness of the failings as well as the fearlessness of Londoners -- Alan Allport * Literary Review *
Jerry White has a unique relation to London and Londoners. More than a historian, he is the city's witness, champion and town-crier... White does not rehearse the cliche of the Blitz spirit. Instead, by giving narrative commentary to the bit players in the drama...he presents a more complex, bleak and confused tale -- Frances Wilson * Oldie *
Endlessly fascinating... White is such a brilliant historian: he casts his net way beyond the usual territories. His books are consequently peppered with colourful vignettes drawn from all sort of unconventional sources, high and low -- Craig Brown * Mail on Sunday *
The definitive and most readable account of the city during the conflict. The Battle of London 1939-45 is the most meticulously researched social history of wartime London that one could ever hope to find... the detail is woven together in such a way, and so colourfully, that it frequently pulls the reader up short with the realisation that the author did not actually experience himself all that he writes about... Almost every page contains a riveting and truly astonishing revelation about that fascinating period in the city's history * History of War *
White's account is a vivid and highly accessible insight into how ordinary life both turned upside-down and continued in a 'new normal' during a once-in-a-generation emergency that we can now all relate to -- Harry Verity * Who Do You Think You Are? *
Both the terror and the calmness in Jerry White's exemplary social history of London during the war years... [an] illuminating...tour de force -- Colin Shindler * Jewish Chronicle *

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