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Fighting the People's War: The British and Commonwealth Armies and the Second World War

In this recording, Dr Jonathan Fennell discusses his recently launched book, Fighting the People's War: The British and Commonwealth Armies and the Second World War. Fighting the People's War is an unprecedented, panoramic history of the 'citizen armies' of the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, India, New Zealand and South Africa, the core of the British and Commonwealth armies in the Second World War. Drawing on new sources to reveal the true wartime experience of the ordinary rank and file, Jonathan fundamentally challenges our understanding of the War and of the relationship between conflict and socio-political change. He uncovers how fractures on the home front had profound implications for the performance of the British and Commonwealth armies and he traces how soldiers' political beliefs, many of which emerged as a consequence of their combat experience, proved instrumental to the socio-political changes of the postwar era. Fighting the People's War transforms our understanding of how the great battles were won and lost as well as how the postwar societies were forged.

Dr Jonathan Fennell is a Senior Lecturer in Defence Studies at King’s College London. He joined the Defence Studies Department in 2009; prior to this he worked as a management consultant in the City in London. Jonathan was awarded a Doctorate in 2008 and a Masters in 2003 in History from the University of Oxford after completing a History and Politics Degree at University College Dublin (2002). He also studied History as an Erasmus Scholar at Université Lumière Lyon II in 2000-2001. Jonathan is Co-Director of the Sir Michael Howard Centre for the History of War, Chair of the Defence Studies Department MA Assessment Sub-Board, and Co-Founder and President of the Second World War Research Group.

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