The Myth of the Blitz was nurtured at every level of society. It rested upon the assumed invincibility of an island race distinguished by good humour, understatement and the ability to pluck victory from the jaws of defeat by team work, improvisation and muddling through.
In fact, in many ways, the Blitz was not like that. Sixty-thousand people were conscientious objectors; a quarter of London's population fled to the country; Churchill and the royal family were booed while touring the aftermath of air-raids; Britain was not bombed into classless democracy.
Angus Calder provides a compelling examination of the events of 1940 and 1941 - when Britain 'stood alone' against the Luftwaffe - and of the Myth which sustained her 'finest hour'.
Angus Calder was an academic, writer, historian, educator and literary editor, and Reader in Cultural Studies and Staff Tutor in Arts with the Open University in Scotland. He read English at Cambridge and received his D. Phil from the School of Social Studies at the University of Sussex. He was Convener of the Scottish Poetry Library when it was founded in 1984. In 1970 he won the John Llewellyn Rhys prize for his seminal work, The People's War. His other books include Revolutionary Empire and The Myth of the Blitz. He died in 2008.