The Shock of War: Civilian Experiences, 1937-1945 (International Themes and Issues)

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9781442603707: The Shock of War: Civilian Experiences, 1937-1945 (International Themes and Issues)

In The Shock of War: Civilian Experiences, 1937-1945, Sean Kennedy shifts the reader's focus from the battlefields of the Second World War to the civilian experience. This short yet comprehensive history complements existing studies of the war that document diplomatic and military operations. While many of these studies acknowledge the significance of the conflict for civilians, The Shock of War places civilians at the centre of events, drawing attention to the many different regions of the world affected by the conflict, and comparing various facets of the civilian experience. Kennedy's fresh approach emphasizes the diverse and complex impact of the war, which was profoundly destructive, yet, in some societies, provided opportunities and the potential for positive change.

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About the Author:

Sean Kennedy is Associate Professor in the History Department at the University of New Brunswick and the author of Reconciling France against Democracy: The Croix de Feu and the Parti Social Français 1927-1945 (2007).

Review:

The Shock of War is an invaluable survey of a critically important subject. Kennedy adeptly synthesizes the wide sweep of history without losing sight of the personal stories—a very impressive achievement that will be appreciated by specialist and general reader alike. (Jonathan F. Vance, The University of Western Ontario)

Sean Kennedy does a great service in this short book. He has included much new work on the experience of civilians in the Second World War, both in Asia and Europe, and crafted a series of judicious essays on popular mobilization, life under foreign occupation, the scale and scope of the war's genocidal atrocities, and the social impact of the war's destruction. The book will serve as an essential starting place for students of the human experience of the Second World War. (William I. Hitchcock, University of Virginia)

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