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Britain's War Machine


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About the Author

David Edgerton is the Hans Rausing Professor at Imperial College, London, where he was the founding director of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine. He is the author of the iconoclastic and brilliant The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History since 1900 (OUP, 2007).


"A fascinating revisionist account that is also enjoyable to read. Highly recommended."--CHOICE

"A stunning booktold with authority, clarity and compelling energy."--James Holland, author of The Battle Of Britain

"Absolutely fascinating. This book will make you think differently about Britain's role in the Second World War."--Laurence Rees, author of Auschwitz: The Nazis and the "Final Solution"

"A remarkable achievement. He re-envisions Britain's role in the Second World War and with it Britain's place in modernity. The period will never look the same again."--Adam Tooze, author of The Wages of Destruction: The Making and Breaking of the Nazi Economy

"An important corrective to the black-and-white portrait of the period that still prevails..."--Financial Times

"Edgerton has written what could prove to be one of the most influential books on the history of the Second World War...majestic...[He] has successfully shown us that we still have a lot to learn about the conflict...[I]t will become the required reading for all students wishing to study the Second World War..."--Reviews in History

"A major new assessment of Britain's war effort from 1939 to 1945. Never again will some of the lazy assessments of how Britain performed over these acceptable. That's why this is such an important book."--History Today

"Edgerton's well-researched volume bursts with data that reveal Britain's true strength even when supposed to be in critical condition."--Peter Moreira Military History

"Brilliant and iconoclastic...debunks the myth that Britain was militarily and economically weak and intellectually parochial during the 1930s and 1940s."--David Blackburn, Spectator Book Blog

"This book has certainly changed my views...It is a necessary and timely corrective to a great deal of loosely thought-through conventional wisdom, and makes a real contribution to our understanding of the war."--Richard Holmes, Literary Review

"Accessibly written and deserves a wide audience. Above all, Edgerton demonstrates that the war is a subject we haven't yet heard nearly enough about. Britain's War Machine is a considerable achievement."--Graham Farmelo, Times Higher Education

"Edgerton has excelled himself with this highly revisionist account of Britain's national performance during the Second World War...[A]n unusually provocative book."--Twentieth Century British History

"Brilliant and thought-provoking...There are moments of edgy humour, too...This remarkable book shows that whatever the reasons for the length of time it took to bring Hitler to heel, the quantity and quality of British war material was not among them."--Brendan Simms, Sunday Telegraph

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