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Reporting the Blitz takes a fresh look at the home front during World War Two, using local newspaper archives from around the country to throw light on some relatively neglected aspects of those years. It explores the unspoken attitudes and values of those wartime communities; the ways in which local firms sought sometimes unexpected business opportunities from the hostilities; how officialdom and the local media sought to jolly the community along, and to keep bad news from them. It looks at the bumblings of wartime bureaucracy and the extraordinary extent to which the wartime government assumed the trappings of a dictatorship. It sees how people attempted to have fun and looks at the communities' attempts to conjure rmality out of the most abrmal of situations. It explores how people managed to travel in the extraordinary circumstances of war (or how they managed, if they could t). It tells individual tales of heroism, greed, stupidity, eccentricity and tragedy, many of them t previously drawn upon for accounts of the period.
Stuart Hylton is a freelance writer, a local historian, and the author of Careless Talk: A Hidden History of the Home Front and Reading at War.