Richard Vinen: National Service



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This is great study of National Service Not only does it give you the information it explains how to use it The chapter on literature for example helps to understand the motives behind Ask an Astronaut: My Guide to Life in Space autobiographiesnd gives Revelations from Revelation (Mass Market) analytical guidance on further reading The thickness of the book is daunting but many of the pagesre citation notes It s not Jane and the Stillroom Maid (Jane Austen Mysteries, as difficult read Crude World: The Violent Twilight of Oil as might be expected Recommended starting point on this subject A very readable thorough survey of phenomenon I only really knew from Dennis Potter s Lipstick on Your Collar nd the memories of my mate s stepdad who deferred nd never had to do it but was expecting to National Service is both forgotten nd misremembered nd this is Alien: Sea of Sorrows an excellent correction of the recordRespectful but captures the buffoonerynd comedy of the whole experience very well Journey Of Fate and in much of the tone of blusternd dissent you can so often hear the voice of Private Eye that ll be Ingrams Judas of Nazareth: How the Greatest Teacher of First-Century Israel Was Replaced by a Literary Creation and Monty Python As ever there s often nothing funnier than wit under fire or inn office miles from it Some glorious British understatement Make it Happen: Surrender Your Fear. Take the Leap. Live On Purpose. an. Sunday Times Top 10 Bestseller Richard Vinen's new book is serious if often very entertaining ttempt to get to grips with the reality of National Service n extraordinary institution which now seems Holding Up the Universe as remotes the British Empire itself With great sympathy nd curiosity Vinen unpicks the myths of the two gap years which ll British men who came of Satellite age between 1945nd the early 1960s had to fill with National Service Millions of teenagers were thrown together n.

D one liners here And the horror too I had never heard of Batang Kali the British My Lai And the extent of suicides Douglas Hurd s brother I had no idea For some two years of time wasting for others rerun of the Somme in KoreaOh nd good starter on understanding the British Army if only from the regulars versus conscripts point of view I still don t get what the hell they re on Makers aboutnd need to get The Heart Has Its Reasons a primer those names Green Jackets Black Watch The Glosters And those job titles It makes cricket seem really easy to followExcellentnd timely National Service ever being raised s n nswer to social problem It s not As with various other ordeals they themselves evaded there s certain strain of gammon keen on reintroducing national service to sort out the younger generation Hilarious then that the figures suggest in practice it led to rather than less juvenile delinuency nd maybe even homosexuality to boot But that upending of conventional wisdom is just one small strand of Vinen s capacious yet granular Kneller's Happy Campers account which combines broad sweeps with reveali. D under often brutal conditions taught to obey ordersnd to fight The luck of the draw might result in two years of boredom in some dilapidated British barracks but it could Haunted Houses For the Millions also mean being thrown into dangerous combat mission in remote part of the world By ny measure National Service had Reclaiming Love: Radical Relationships in a Complex World a huge impact on the nature of British societynd yet it has been remarkably little written Playing with Fire: How the Bible Ignites Change in Your Soul about As the military's needs wound downnd Britain ceased to be great power

Ng nomalies nd musing necdotes to cover everything from class to Korea to the co option of Anglicanism in the cause of promoting sexual continence which in the event seems to have done to undermine faith than it did to prevent VD Certain men recur from chapter to chapter mong them the famous who sometimes made much of their experiences David Lodge s The Dawn of Christmas admitted tendency to fictionalise his time in the forces is treated forensically but sympathetically Alan Clark s less open creativity with the truth earns noticeably frostier tone A fascinating read even if one has no particular interest in the brief nd typical phenomenon of British peacetime conscription Bark a springboard forll manner of further uestions if one does My father died recently Eden's Gate and he was born in 1935 Over the years he often referred to his national service in Malayand I decided to find out This is the definitive one volume history of that period I learned Her Bear Twins a hugemount Bumps, Bruises and Bouncing Back: A Young Woman's Adventures into Womanhood about the context of national servicend the experiences of the men from this book nd the men s voices contained within Ational Service came to be seen s just My Lady Viper (Tales From the Tudor Court, an embarrassmentnd its culture of rank nd discipline something which many British people were by the 1960s running way from But without proper understanding of National Service the story of post war Britain barely makes sense Richard Vinen provides that missing book It will be fascinating to those who endured or even enjoyed their time in uniform but lso to nyone wishing to understand the uniue nature of post war Brita.

Richard Vinen ¸ 1 SUMMARY

Richard Vinen is a Professor in Modern European History at King's College London Prior to joining the department in 1991 he was a Fellow at Trinity College Cambridge and also lectured at ueen Mary Westfield CollegeRichard Vinen is the author of the widely praised A History in Fragments Europe in the Twentieth Century He writes regularly for The Independent The Times Literary Supplemen