Nine Wartime Lives: Mass Observation and the Making of the Modern Self

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James Hinton uses diaries kept by nine 'ordinary' people in wartime Britain to re-evaluate the social history of the Second World War, and to reflect on the twentieth-century making of the modern self.

These diaries were written by some of the unusually self-reflective and public-spirited people who agreed to write intimate journals about their daily activity for the social research organisation, Mass Observation. One of the nine diarists discussed is Nella Last, whose published diaries have been a source of delight and fascination for many thousands of readers. Alongside her there are chapters on eight other Mass Observers, each in their own way as vivid, interesting, and surprising as Nella herself.

A central insight underpins the book: in seeking to make the best of our own lives, each of us makes selective use of the resources of our shared culture in a unique way; and, in so doing, we contribute, however modestly, to molecular processes of historical change. Placing individuals at the centre of his analysis, James Hinton probes the impact of war on attitudes to citizenship, the changing relationships between men and women, and the search for meanings in life that could transcend the wartime context of limitless violence.

Consistently sensitive, thoughtful and often moving, this beautifully written book resists nostalgic contrasts between the presumed dutiful citizenship of wartime Britain and contemporary anti-social individualism, pointing instead to longer run processes of change rooted as much in struggles for personal autonomy in the private sphere as in the politics of active citizenship in public life.

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About the Author:


James Hinton has published widely on the social history of twentieth-century Britain. His early work in labour history included The First Shop Stewards' Movement (1973) and Labour and Socialism (1983). A spell of intense political activism in the 1980s anti-nuclear movement was reflected in Protests and Visions: Peace Politics in Twentieth-Century Britain (1989). More recently he has published monographs on two contrasting groups of active citizens during the second world war: Shop Floor Citizens (1994), and Women and Social Leadership (2002). Following his work on the Mass Observation diaries, he is now engaged on a full-scale history of Mass Observation.

Review:


"In telling the stories of nine of these diarists, Hinton makes important contributions not only to the growing body of work on Mass-Observation and the field of life writing, in general, but also to twentieth-century British historiography."--Journal of British Studies


"An elegantly written and engaging study."--American Historical Review


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. James Hinton uses diaries kept by nine ordinary people in wartime Britain to re-evaluate the social history of the Second World War, and to reflect on the twentieth-century making of the modern self. These diaries were written by some of the unusually self-reflective and public-spirited people who agreed to write intimate journals about their daily activity for the social research organisation, Mass Observation. One of the nine diarists discussed is Nella Last, whose published diaries have been a source of delight and fascination for many thousands of readers. Alongside her there are chapters on eight other Mass Observers, each in their own way as vivid, interesting, and surprising as Nella herself. A central insight underpins the book: in seeking to make the best of our own lives, each of us makes selective use of the resources of our shared culture in a unique way; and, in so doing, we contribute, however modestly, to molecular processes of historical change. Placing individuals at the centre of his analysis, James Hinton probes the impact of war on attitudes to citizenship, the changing relationships between men and women, and the search for meanings in life that could transcend the wartime context of limitless violence. Consistently sensitive, thoughtful and often moving, this beautifully written book resists nostalgic contrasts between the presumed dutiful citizenship of wartime Britain and contemporary anti-social individualism, pointing instead to longer run processes of change rooted as much in struggles for personal autonomy in the private sphere as in the politics of active citizenship in public life. Seller Inventory # AAV9780199605156

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.James Hinton uses diaries kept by nine ordinary people in wartime Britain to re-evaluate the social history of the Second World War, and to reflect on the twentieth-century making of the modern self. These diaries were written by some of the unusually self-reflective and public-spirited people who agreed to write intimate journals about their daily activity for the social research organisation, Mass Observation. One of the nine diarists discussed is Nella Last, whose published diaries have been a source of delight and fascination for many thousands of readers. Alongside her there are chapters on eight other Mass Observers, each in their own way as vivid, interesting, and surprising as Nella herself. A central insight underpins the book: in seeking to make the best of our own lives, each of us makes selective use of the resources of our shared culture in a unique way; and, in so doing, we contribute, however modestly, to molecular processes of historical change. Placing individuals at the centre of his analysis, James Hinton probes the impact of war on attitudes to citizenship, the changing relationships between men and women, and the search for meanings in life that could transcend the wartime context of limitless violence. Consistently sensitive, thoughtful and often moving, this beautifully written book resists nostalgic contrasts between the presumed dutiful citizenship of wartime Britain and contemporary anti-social individualism, pointing instead to longer run processes of change rooted as much in struggles for personal autonomy in the private sphere as in the politics of active citizenship in public life. Seller Inventory # AAV9780199605156

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2011. Paperback. Condition: New. Reprint. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. James Hinton uses diaries kept by nine ordinary people in wartime Britain to re-evaluate the social history of the Second World War, and to reflect on the twentieth-century making of the modern self. These diaries were written by some of the unusually self-reflective and public-spirited people who agreed to write intimate journals about their daily activity for the social research organisation, Mass Observation. One of the nine diarists discussed is Nella Last, whose published diaries have been a source of delight and fascination for many thousands of readers. Alongside her there are chapters on eight other Mass Observers, each in their own way as vivid, interesting, and surprising as Nella herself. A central insight underpins the book: in seeking to make the best of our own lives, each of us makes selective use of the resources of our shared culture in a unique way; and, in so doing, we contribute, however modestly, to molecular processes of historical change. Placing individuals at the centre of his analysis, James Hinton probes the impact of war on attitudes to citizenship, the changing relationships between men and women, and the search for meanings in life that could transcend the wartime context of limitless violence. Consistently sensitive, thoughtful and often moving, this beautifully written book resists nostalgic contrasts between the presumed dutiful citizenship of wartime Britain and contemporary anti-social individualism, pointing instead to longer run processes of change rooted as much in struggles for personal autonomy in the private sphere as in the politics of active citizenship in public life. Seller Inventory # BTE9780199605156

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Book Description Oxford University Press. Paperback. Condition: New. 272 pages. Dimensions: 9.1in. x 6.1in. x 0.9in.James Hinton uses diaries kept by nine ordinary people in wartime Britain to re-evaluate the social history of the Second World War, and to reflect on the twentieth-century making of the modern self. These diaries were written by some of the unusually self-reflective and public-spirited people who agreed to write intimate journals about their daily activity for the social research organisation, Mass Observation. One of the nine diarists discussed is Nella Last, whose published diaries have been a source of delight and fascination for many thousands of readers. Alongside her there are chapters on eight other Mass Observers, each in their own way as vivid, interesting, and surprising as Nella herself. A central insight underpins the book: in seeking to make the best of our own lives, each of us makes selective use of the resources of our shared culture in a unique way; and, in so doing, we contribute, however modestly, to molecular processes of historical change. Placing individuals at the centre of his analysis, James Hinton probes the impact of war on attitudes to citizenship, the changing relationships between men and women, and the search for meanings in life that could transcend the wartime context of limitless violence. Consistently sensitive, thoughtful and often moving, this beautifully written book resists nostalgic contrasts between the presumed dutiful citizenship of wartime Britain and contemporary anti-social individualism, pointing instead to longer run processes of change rooted as much in struggles for personal autonomy in the private sphere as in the politics of active citizenship in public life. This item ships from multiple locations. Your book may arrive from Roseburg,OR, La Vergne,TN. Paperback. Seller Inventory # 9780199605156

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