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Men at War: Loving, Lusting, Fighting, Remembering 1939-1945

Luke Turner

8 Reviews

Rated 0

Military history, Second World War, Gay & Lesbian studies, Gay studies (Gay men)

A radical blend of history, memoir and biography that looks beyond jingoistic myths to reveal a nuanced portrait of those who served in the Second World War

As the Second World War moves beyond living memory and its last veterans leave us, we are in danger of losing our opportunity to understand the reality behind the conflict's myths, machines and iconography. From filmmakers, writers, artists and ordinary people (including his own family members), Luke Turner assembles a broad cast of characters to bring this much-mythologised conflict to life.

There are conscientious objectors, a bisexual Commando, a transgender RAF pilot and those who simply did what they could to survive and return home to a complicated peace. By exploring a wartime experience that embraces sex, lust and the body as much as tactics and weaponry, Turner argues that the only way we can really understand the Second World War is to get to grips with the complexity of the lives and identities of those who fought and endured it.

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Praise for Men at War: Loving, Lusting, Fighting, Remembering 1939-1945

  • Luke Turner's tender account of servicemen's transgressive private lives transforms our understanding of the Second World War . . . it is a loving, important work - NEW STATESMAN

  • By liberating these men of their wartime closet, Turner is also attempting to free the war and its effect on Britain from the revisionist clutches of a growing nationalist right-wing political agenda - THE i PAPER

  • So original and surprising I am all but speechless with admiration

  • This tribute to the outliers and oddballs of the Second World War is a reminder that, in the very best of ways, not all men are created equal - The Times

  • Profound, moving and complex . . . a powerful reflection on trauma and love, on humanity in adversity

  • Lovely, tender, subversive stuff

  • Unexpectedly touching

  • Thoughtful, empathetic and necessary

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Luke Turner

LUKE TURNER is a writer and editor. He co-founded the influential music website The Quietus and has contributed to the Guardian, Dazed & Confused, Vice, NME, Q, Mojo, Monocle, Nowness, Somesuch Stories and the BBC among others. His first book, Out of the Woods, was shortlisted for the Wainwright Prize. He lives in London.

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