Priestley's Wars Summary
Soldier, writer, broadcaster and peace campaigner. This book tells the untold story of J B Priestley's role at the centre of British 20th century history.It is timed with the 90th anniversary of the end of WW1 and the 50th anniversary of the formation of CND.It provides a unique insight into the two world wars and the foundation of the CND movement through the eyes of one of the century's greatest writers.It contains previously un-published letters from the WW1 battlefields, and the 'Postscripts' broadcasts that Churchill tried to ban."I came out of [the 1914-1918 war] with a chip on my shoulder...probably some friend's thigh-bone."This major historical work by the acclaimed historian, Neil Hanson, traces the personal odyssey of one of Britain's greatest and best-loved literary figures, JB Priestley. This revealing book opens with Priestley as an enthusiastic volunteer in the First World War. Published here for the first time are the letters he wrote while serving on the Somme, which vividly evoke the full horrors of trench warfare and which also mark the start of a transformation that would ultimately make Priestley one of the most influential voices for peace and disarmament.In the inter-war years, Priestley became a hugely successful author, playwright and broadcaster, and in the early years of the Second World War, his 'Postscripts' radio broadcasts, immediately following Winston Churchill's addresses to the nation, attracted an audience of 16 million listeners. However, Priestley's appeals to ensure that, this time, Britain's troops really should come home to a transformed land "fit for heroes" infuriated Churchill and the broadcasts were abruptly dropped. This book includes copies of the 'Postscripts' that have never previously been published and which shed light not only on Priestley social and political concerns but also on the growing tide of national feeling that swept the Labour Party to power after the war.In the 1950s, Priestley's journey from youthful soldier to passionate opponent of the horror of nuclear war was completed when he became one of the cofounders of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) launched with the famous London to Aldermaston march in 1958.Written with the full co-operation of JB Priestley's sons, Tom Priestley and Nicholas Hawkes, and beautifully illustrated, including images from the J B Priestley Archives, "Priestley's Wars" tells the full story of one of the literary giants of the 20th century, and his role in the military conflict and social change that defined the 'Great War to Cold War' era.
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Priestley's Wars (Rediscovering Priestley)
Great Northern Books Ltd
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