Book Review The Home Front 1939-1945 In 100 Objects

Discussion in 'Books, Films, TV, Radio' started by von Poop, Apr 7, 2020.

  1. von Poop

    von Poop Adaministrator Admin

    The Home Front 1939–1945 in 100 Objects.
    Austin J Ruddy.


    The Home Front 1939–1945 in 100 Objects
    Frontline Books
    Pages: 212
    Illustrations: 150
    ISBN: 9781526740861
    Nov. 2019

    The '100 Objects' theme is now apparently so popular I'm surprised there isn't a 'Books about 100 objects in 100 objects' title out, but having seen some rather good ones (Peter Doyle's WW1 in particular. First of the breed? First I read anyway.), I thought I'd have a shufti.
    Sort of tricky to review, as I wouldn't normally read such a book from cover to cover. One to leave lying about & hit a couple of entries when the urge strikes.
    Even trickier to review, as the other half grabbed it when it arrived & spent a good amount of time flicking through, showing me things & asking questions... definitely not normal behaviour with my usual reading material.
    Which I think partly explains the success of the genre. There's a widespread appeal about well-presented 'things' that crosses usual subject divides. If she had one on '100 Tudor or Viking Objects' (her areas), then I'd probably do the same.

    The author's apparently spent a lifetime collecting bits & pieces, so is able to draw almost everything from his own collection, and the enthusiasm for even the most ephemeral shows through. I think the ability to spin up a couple of pages on an engraved lump of 'Victory Coal' is pretty impressive.
    A lot of it's small documents, but there's nothing wrong with that as they're all relevant & (I thought} interesting.
    I particularly liked that he used the last couple of entries to bring up things that are a bit of a mystery to him, inviting 'answers on a postcard' - reinforced that this is somebody actively engaged with the subject.

    Such a thing is never going to change the world of academia, but it certainly triggered a fair few further web searches. He can write, knows his stuff, and the reproduction/photography is top notch.
    The sort of book that I know (post-Corona) will lead to other visitors that wouldn't usually touch a WW2 book being caught flicking through, and that can only be a good thing.
    (Thoroughly indexed, too. Hooray!)

    Cheers to P&S for the review copy.
    ARPCDHG and JimHerriot like this.

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