Our Hidden Lives: The Remarkable Diaries of Post-War Britain

Front Cover
Ebury, 2005 - History - 536 pages
23 Reviews

In 1936 anthropologist Tom Harrison, poet and journalist Charles Madge, and documentary filmmaker Humphrey Jennings set up the Mass Observation Project. The idea was simple: ordinary people would record, in diary form, the events of their everyday lives. An estimated one million pages eventually found their way to the archive - and it soon became clear this was more than anyone could digest. Today, the diaries are stored at the University of Sussex, where remarkably most remain unread. In Our Hidden Lives, Simon Garfield has skilfully woven a tapestry of diary entries in the rarely discussed but pivotal period of 1945 to 1948. The result is a moving, intriguing, funny, at times heartbreaking book - unashamedly populist in the spirit of Forgotten Voices or indeed Margaret Forster's Diary of an Ordinary Woman.

'I love these diaries. They have the attraction of being stories, but REAL stories - Better than any novel.' Margaret Forster

'A lovely book. It will appeal to anyone who appreciates the richness and diversity of human experience.' Tony Benn

'Utterly engrossing, better than any kind of reality TV.' Gavin Esler

'Funny, vivid, touching, angry, thoughtful - every page is a delight. This is definitely no. 1 on my present list to give to everyone in the coming year.' Jenny Uglow, author of The Lunar Men

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - LizzieD - LibraryThing

We Are at War is the second of Garfield's editing of diaries from the Mass Observation Project written by ordinary people in Britain, this time late summer of 1939 through October of 1940. Only one ... Read full review

Review: Our Hidden Lives: The Remarkable Diaries of Post-War Britain

User Review  - K - Goodreads

Dipped in and out of for research purposes. Read full review

About the author (2005)

Simon Garfield is an award-winning feature writer on The Observer and author of two previous books of oral history, both highly acclaimed. His study of Aids in Britain, The End of Innocence, was awarded the Somerset Maugham Prize, and the bestselling Mauve was described by the Daily Telegraph as 'a book about science which also happens to be a miniature work of art'. His most recent work, The Last Journey of William Huskisson, was a Radio 4 Book of the Week.

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