We Danced All Night: Britain Between the Wars
Bounded by the Great War on one side and by the looming shadow of the Second World War on the other, the inter-war period has characteristically been portrayed as a time of unremitting poverty, rising crime and mass unemployment. In Martin Pugh's lively and thought-provoking new book, however, the acclaimed historian vividly shows how the British people reacted to the privations of wartime by indulging in leisure and entertainment activities of all kinds - from dancing and cinema going to smoking, football pools and paid holidays. He explodes the myths of a nation of unwed women, revealing that in the 1930s the institution of marriage was reaching its heyday, and points to a rise in real incomes, improvements in diet and health and the spread of cheap luxuries.
The result is an extraordinary, engaging work of history that presents us with a fresh perspective and brings out both the strangeness and the familiarity of this point in time.