Peace at Last reviews

Peace at Last reviews

‘[Cuthbertson’s] brilliant portrayal of Britain on the day that peace broke out; when people could believe there was an end to the war to end all wars. He weaves a wonderful tapestry of the mood and events across the country, drawing on a wide range of local and regional newspapers. It is accessible history at its best. […] outstanding […] wonderfully stimulating’ (The Evening Standard, 8 November)

‘In his absorbing and well-researched study, Mr. Cuthbertson, a professor of literature at Liverpool Hope University, shows how a day of spontaneity was tamed over time, as celebration morphed into commemoration. […] “Peace at Last,” despite its sometimes grim subject, is a pleasure to read and is full of fascinating tidbits.’ (The Wall Street Journal, 12 November)

‘Guy Cuthbertson’s superbly researched and exhaustive survey of the day the Great War ended […] One of the strengths of this fine book is that the reader has the sensation that he or she actually took part in what, at the time, was regarded as the greatest day in the history of the world […] extensive context and understanding […] Cuthbertson sets the scene expertly […] this is as definitive a work as one could wish for about the day that saw the end of what was supposedly the war to end all wars.’ (The Literary Review, November 2018)

‘The other big anniversary is the end of the First World War. Peace at Last by Guy Cuthbertson (Yale University Press, October) uses letters, diaries and newspapers to build an hour-by-hour account of “how the people of Britain experienced the moment that peace became a reality”.’ (The New Statesman, January 2018, ‘Best Books of 2018’, ‘the books we’ll be reading in 2018’)

‘A novel and wide-ranging examination of the conclusion of the war once solemnly declared to be the one to end all wars.’ (Kirkus)

‘Guy Cuthbertson has diligently scoured newspapers, diaries, memoirs and not a little poetry of the period.  The book is thoughtful but easy to read’ (Who Do You Think You Are? Magazine, November 2018)

‘Cuthbertson has worked hard in assembling his impressionistic picture from scores of first-hand manuscript and published accounts […] The result is often memorable and moving.’  (The Spectator, 10 November 2018)

Peace at Last was included in the Telegraph‘s ‘what to read’ feature on the year’s best history books (‘Christmas Books 2018’).

‘In his compelling study Peace At Last, Guy Cuthbertson combines the curiosity of the biographer and the delicacy of the literary historian to recover the life-story of a single day – 11 November 1918 – in all its sensuous detail and incorrigible plurality. Drawing on a remarkable range of sources, he takes us on a rare journey across the nation and beyond, from the silence of the front and the myriad noises and interruptions at home that morning to bonfires and music-making through the night to plunge us into the minutiae of human emotions: disbelief, joy, abandon, but also grief and mourning. Imaginative, moving and brilliantly researched, this book brings together ordinary men, women and children as well as artists and writers in a novel way to understand and evoke an extraordinary day in world history.’ (Santanu Das, author of Touch and Intimacy in First World War Literature)

‘A timely contribution to our understanding of the First World War through the lens of its final day, Peace at Last chronicles a range of voices and experiences that have not been brought together before. It is a fascinating read.’ (Jane Potter, author of Boys in Khaki, Girls in Print: Women’s Literary Responses to the Great War 1914-1918)

Peace at Last offers a fresh, vivid, and deeply researched analysis of the British experience on Armistice Day 1918. The book is a delight to read: full of perceptive commentary and arresting detail.’ (David Stevenson, author of With Our Backs to the Wall: Victory and Defeat in 1918)

‘Cuthbertson is a superb biographer, and his panoramic new book gives us the biography—so to speak—of Armistice Day. It is the most complete account so far of a day that, even a century later, shows no sign of loosening its hold on our cultural memory.’ (Tim Kendall, author of Modern English War Poetry)

‘A poignant account of 11 November 1918, the day of great rejoicing that marked the Armistice on the Western Front.  Often neglected, “passed over in a leap from the war to Versailles”, Cuthbertson explores the events of Armistice Day in great, moving detail.’ (Nick Lloyd, author of Hundred Days: The End of the Great War)

 

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