In the original dustsheet. Black cloth binding with gilt title on the spine.
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In 1936 anthropologist Tom Harrison, poet and journalist Charles Madge, and documentary filmmaker Humphrey Jennings set up the Mass Observation Project. The idea was simple: ordinary people would record, in diary form, the events of their everyday lives. An estimated one million pages eventually found their way to the archive – and it soon became clear this was more than anyone could digest. Today, the diaries are stored at the University of Sussex, where remarkably most remain unread. In Our Hidden Lives, Simon Garfield has skilfully woven a tapestry of diary entries in the rarely discussed but pivotal period of 1945 to 1948. The result is a moving, intriguing, funny, at times heartbreaking book – unashamedly populist in the spirit of Forgotten Voices or indeed Margaret Forster’s Diary of an Ordinary Woman.
‘I love these diaries. They have the attraction of being stories, but REAL stories – Better than any novel.’ Margaret Forster
‘A lovely book. It will appeal to anyone who appreciates the richness and diversity of human experience.’ Tony Benn
‘Utterly engrossing, better than any kind of reality TV.’ Gavin Esler
‘Funny, vivid, touching, angry, thoughtful – every page is a delight. This is definitely no. 1 on my present list to give to everyone in the coming year.’ Jenny Uglow, author of The Lunar Men
Review: This book is like reliving some of my days as a ten year old schoolboy, when the war was over but living was still as hard and austere as ever. These diaries are like nothing else you’ll ever read. They are all so honest; so easy to agree with in many ways; so evocative if you are of that era. Even if you are too young to know anything about those harsh times I’m sure you will still love this book. You will be amazed at how we lived then when compared to present times. The ‘good old days’ could be ‘the good old bad old days’. But those days were REAL and this collection of diaries tells of things as the man and woman in the street saw them. I’d give it ten stars, but not allowed to.
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