Reissued to commemorate the 75th VE Day anniversary, the critically acclaimed social history of London, during a crucial year in the city's great history, from the acclaimed writer of 1700: Scenes from London life.
London at the outset of war in 1939 was the greatest city in the world, the heart of the British Empire. The defiant capital had always been Hitler's prime target and 1945, the last year of the war, saw the final phase of the battle of London. The Civil Defence could not have succeeded without the spirit, courage, resilience and co-operation of the people. London 1945 describes how a great city coped in crisis, how morale was sustained, shelter provided, food and clothing rationed, and work and entertainment carried on.
Then, as the joy of VE Day and VJ Day passed into memory, Londoners faced severe shortages and all the problems of post-war adjustment. Women lost the independence the war had lent them, husbands and wives had to learn to live together again, and children had a lot of catching up to do.
The year of victory, 1945, represents an important chapter in London's - and Britain's - long history.
She writes with a great affection for London ... a compelling picture of the life of the ordinary Londoner - The Spectator
An ambitious enterprise, and Waller brings it off admirably - a sort of Bayeux Tapestry - The Times
A wonderfully vivid panorama of a thrilling time - Scotsman
An enjoyable read and meticulously researched - The Guardian
Meticulously researched account imbues the second-world-war era with a matchless sense of immediacy - Sunday Times
Convincing, humane and highly readable - Telegraph
A wholly compulsive read ... outstanding - Hampstead and Highgate Express
Magisterial ... a fine account in which sober analysis is combined with a mass of memorable and emotive information - Daily Mail