ANGUS CALDER THE MYTH OF THE BLITZ PDF

Cape, pp. The number and variety of his sexual activities remarkable in view of his back troubles left him open to blackmail by J. Calder goes eleven exhausting rounds with it here, giving the Myth the old one-two several times without once flooring it, let alone achieving a k. Yet this is contradicted by other comments in which, you might say, the Myth fights back.

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Share this article by email Since , the contours of British collective memory have been shaped by a particular historical interpretation of the Second World War—one that gives prominence to the summer of as a transformative episode in British society. According to this narrative, perhaps most succinctly elucidated by Richard Titmuss in his book, Problems of Social Policy, was the point when the nation, divided by the class conflict and political in-fighting of the depression years, overcame its internal fractures and, united in defiance of German hegemony on the continent and daily bombing raids by the Luftwaffe, became the people.

It is this orthodox view which the late Angus Calder sought to confront with the publication of The Myth of the Blitz in In essence, the rhetorical oratory of Churchill, the Ministry of Information scripted radio broadcasts of Priestly and the staged cinematography of Jennings, have been used by academics, politicians and laymen alike as a factual guide to the realities of the war.

This has led to a particularisation that has not only excluded marginal and not so marginal groups from the public discourse, but has also allowed for the totalising of a narrow, nostalgic and politically malleable collective memory of which reinforces a certain form of British identity. In a sense, the quantitative empiricism of The Myth of the Blitz can be seen as a continuation of a wider trend of European revisionism which emerged in the s, concerned as it was with renegotiating the realities of the Second World War.

The book began to take form in the early s, a period of heightened class antagonism and political polarisation, which saw the myth of being invoked by both sides of the divide to confer legitimacy upon their respective viewpoints. Thatcher during the Falklands War, led me to seek, every which way, to undermine the credibility of the mythical narrative. Penguin This has two wider consequences for understanding the development of collective memory. Second, it shows how a change in, or a challenge to, collective memory can be brought about by events and structural factors seemingly extraneous to the subject at hand.

The book is divided into eleven chapters, each of which analyses a different social or cultural aspect of the war and remembering in general. Along with the impressive range and typology of sources which are drawn upon—from Mass Observation to scholarly works, and government documents to personal diaries—this introduces a degree of multiplicity that successfully conveys the complexities of wartime memory.

For instance, the juxtaposition of the supposedly unique British reaction to strategic bombing with parallel German and Italian responses has important implications for the link between collective memory and national identity. In addition to blurring the lines between perpetrator and victim, foreshadowing developments in German revisionist literature, Calder convincingly argues that if the distinctiveness of national memory is weakened its solidity and significance will also be diluted.

For the most part this is not controversial in and of itself. However, it has repercussions for the widely held belief that Britons would have uniformly resisted German occupation. It is arguable that such a challenge to the core underpinnings of British self-image would have as radical an impact today as it did in Any author who explicitly wishes to deconstruct orthodox historiography risks, by focussing specifically on the invisible constituents of the public discourse, replacing an established myth with an equally caricatured and inaccurate counter-myth.

The growth of Plaid Cymru and increased juvenile delinquency during the war, to name but two examples, remain on the periphery of collective memory for rather mundane reasons—namely, their exceptional or un-noteworthy nature. Nevertheless, The Myth of the Blitz remains an important milestone in the critical analysis of the memory of the Second World War in Britain.

Its nuanced treatment of various complex and inter-related topics, and its informative examination of the origins and uses of popular memory, set it apart from other more polemical texts.

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Share this article by email Since , the contours of British collective memory have been shaped by a particular historical interpretation of the Second World War—one that gives prominence to the summer of as a transformative episode in British society. According to this narrative, perhaps most succinctly elucidated by Richard Titmuss in his book, Problems of Social Policy, was the point when the nation, divided by the class conflict and political in-fighting of the depression years, overcame its internal fractures and, united in defiance of German hegemony on the continent and daily bombing raids by the Luftwaffe, became the people. It is this orthodox view which the late Angus Calder sought to confront with the publication of The Myth of the Blitz in In essence, the rhetorical oratory of Churchill, the Ministry of Information scripted radio broadcasts of Priestly and the staged cinematography of Jennings, have been used by academics, politicians and laymen alike as a factual guide to the realities of the war. This has led to a particularisation that has not only excluded marginal and not so marginal groups from the public discourse, but has also allowed for the totalising of a narrow, nostalgic and politically malleable collective memory of which reinforces a certain form of British identity.

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Early life[ edit ] Angus Calder was born in London on 5 February into a prominent left-wing family from Scotland. His nephew is travel writer and journalist Simon Calder. At the time, academic research into the conflict was rare as government papers were not available under the fifty-year rule. As a result Calder worked closely with Paul Addison — , another historian with similar research interests. The work was academic in tone and ranged widely across the political and social history of the period. It was critical of enduring propaganda myths without being polemic, and was extremely successful.

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The Myth of the Blitz

Download PDF Since the contours of British memory have been shaped by a particular cultural-historical interpretation of the Second World War which gives prominence to the summer of as a transformative episode in British society [1]. In essence, the rhetorical oratory of Churchill, the MOI scripted radio broadcasts of Priestly and the staged cinematography of Jennings, have been used by academics, politicians and laymen alike as a factual guide to the realities of the war [4]. This has led to a particularisation which has not only excluded marginal and not so marginal groups from the public discourse, but has also allowed for the totalising of a narrow, nostalgic and politically malleable collective memory of which reinforces a certain form of British identity [5]. In a sense the quantitative empiricism of The Myth of the Blitz can be seen as a continuation of a wider trend of European revisionism which emerged in the s, concerned as it was with renegotiating the realities of the Second World War [7].

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