We Danced All Night: A Social History of Britain Between the Wars

Front Cover
Bodley Head, 2008 - Great Britain - 495 pages
1 Review

* Bounded by the Great War on one side and by the looming shadow of the Second World War on the other, the inter-war era boasts acoherent identityenjoyed by few other twenty-year periods.

* It was in these decades that so many of theiconic characters of modern Britainacquired their personas; but this social history sets them in unexpected contexts: Winston Churchill and Siegfried Sassoon as errant motorists, Barbara Cartland and Agatha Christie as resolute divorcees, Lady Diana Cooper as cash-strapped film star.

* This new account departs from the traditional perspective on inter-war Britain as an era dominated by mass unemployment, class conflict and poverty by reflecting modern research onrising real incomes, improvements indiet and health, and the spread ofcheap luxuries. It vividly depicts how the British people reacted to the privations of wartime by their determination toindulge in leisure and entertainmentof all kinds.

* It alsocorrects the view of contemporary criticswho saw British society as undisciplined, irresponsible and criminal: in these decades the great Victorian vices - prostitution and drunkenness - were in steep decline, while the prison population stood at just 11,000.

* Martin Pugh also evaluates the extent of regional culture and loyalties between the wars, and examines the development of nationalism in Scotland, Wales, and Great Britain as a whole. Above all he explains how our modern consumer society of dedicated shoppers effectively took shape during the 1930s, as well as the modern British obsession with housing and home-ownership.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Ant.Harrison - LibraryThing

Really enjoyed Martin Pugh’s social history of Britain between the wars; it covers so much ground, but never in a dull or boring way. This book is totally engaging, with discussions on subjects as ... Read full review


A Babylonian touch
Mr Can and Mr Cant
Where the airs like wine

18 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2008)

Martin Pugh taught history at the Aligarh Muslim University, India, from 1969-71 on V.S.O.; he was Professor of British History at Newcastle University until 1999, and Research Professor in History at Liverpool John Moores University 1999-2002. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, a member of the advisory panel of the B.B.C. History Magazine, and the author of eleven books on nineteenth and twentieth century history. He lives in Northumberland where he divides his time between gardening, research and writing.

Bibliographic information