British Literature of the Blitz: Fighting the People’s War
Analyzing conflicted representations of class and gender in British literature and film of the Blitz, this book interrogates the ideal of the People's War, which claimed to unite men and women of all classes in defense of the British home front. The subtitle -- Fighting the People's War -- describes the way that British citizens not only cooperated to fight Nazi Germany but also questioned the nationalist ideology binding them together. The paradox of the People's War is that it counters a totalitarian threat with a potentially totalizing ideal: because it is both patriotic and utopian, the rhetoric resists critique, even though the right to question compulsory nationalism was precisely what Britain was fighting for. Above all else, British Literature of the Blitz values the voicing of individual opinion, even -- or especially -- when individuals do not agree; a utopia that denies the freedom to critique utopianism is no utopia at all. Kristine Miller has published on modern British literature in Modern Fiction Studies, Genre, Twentieth Century Literature, and the Journal of Modern Literature.
English literature, 20th century history, World War, Great Britain, War and literature, Ideology, Literature
Miller, Kristine. British Literature of the Blitz: Fighting the People’s War. New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2009.