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The First Day of the Blitz: September 7, 1940by Peter Stansky
"In The First Day of the Blitz, the Stanford historian Peter Stansky fluently chronicles the day's events, placing them in the wider context of Britain's home front and the history of the Blitz (only two of the book's nine chapters actually focus on the narrow subject of its title)." Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic Monthly (read the entire Atlantic Monthly review)
Synopses & Reviews
On September 7, 1940, the long-feared and anticipated attack by the German Luftwaffe plunged London into a cauldron of fire and devastation. This compelling book recreates that day in all its horror, using rich archival sources and first-hand accounts, many never before published. Eminent historian Peter Stansky weaves together the stories of people who recorded their experiences of the opening hours of the Blitz. Then, exploring more deeply, the author examines what that critical day meant to the nation at the time, and what it came to mean in following years.
Much of the future of Britain was determined in the first twelve hours of bombing, Stansky contends. The Blitz set in motion a range of responses that contributed to ultimate victory over Germany and to a transformation of British society. The wave of terror, though designed to quash morale, instead inspired stoicism, courage, and a new camaraderie. The tragic London bombing can reveal much of relevance to our own violent times, Stansky concludes: both the effectiveness of modern terror and its ultimate failure are made powerfully clear by the events of September 7, 1940.
"Stansky recounts the numerous acts of courage and tenacity displayed by Londoners beginning on that first awful day. He even draws comparisons between this event and 9/11." Library Journal
"[A] superb account of a terrible and important day in the life of a nation." Booklist
About the Author
Peter Stansky is Frances and Charles Field Professor of History, Emeritus, Stanford University. He is the author of numerous distinguished works in the field of modern British social, cultural, and political history, including Sassoon: The Worlds of Philip and Sybil, published by Yale University Press.
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