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Synopsis

The First World War profoundly changed British society. The armed forces' need for mass recruitment saw the workforce severely depleted, with women stepping up to shoulder the burden; but nobody could ignore the social upheaval or the strains put upon daily life. With poverty a major issue at the outbreak of war, the extra wages put more food on the table for many families, in spite of rationing and shortages, and away from the front the nation prospered. The war intervened in all aspects of home life, and attacks from the sea and the air meant that civilians were caught up in 'total war'. Peter Doyle explores how British citizens met these challenges, looking at such aspects of daily life as clothing restrictions and popular arts, alongside broader issues like food shortages and industrial unrest.

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