"An engaging, balanced and thoroughly researched history. It is often a moving and amusing tale containing plenty of mavericks and colourful episodes." (Lawrence James, The Times)
Auntie's War is a love letter to radio.
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British institution unlike any other, and its story during the Second World War is also our story. This was Britain’s first total war, engaging the whole nation, and the wireless played a crucial role in it. For the first time, news of the conflict reached every living room – sometimes almost as it happened; and at key moments:
- Chamberlain’s announcement of war
- The Blitz
- The D-Day landings
- De Gaulle's broadcasts from exile
- Churchill's fighting speeches
Radio offered an incomparable tool for propaganda; it was how coded messages, both political and personal, were sent across Europe, and it was a means of sending less than truthful information to the enemy.
Edward Stourton is a sharp-eyed, wry and affectionate companion on the BBC’s wartime journey, investigating archives, diaries, letters and memoirs to examine what the BBC was and what it stood for. Auntie’s War is an incomparable insight into why we have the broadcast culture we do today.
A BBC RADIO 4: BOOK OF THE WEEK
An engaging, balanced and thoroughly researched history.
It is often a moving and amusing tale containing plenty of mavericks and colourful episodes.
Fascinating, complex and exhaustively researched ... This is a book that travels far beyond the bomb-scarred walls of Broadcasting House, bringing the reader as it did the 1940s listening public, the drama and immediacy of the war, and eventually the reality of a post-Nazi world, where Dimbleby's pared down description of the liberation of Belsen must be one of the most shattering pieces of ever broadcast.
This book captures how and why the BBC came to be trusted around the world so much that people like my grandparents - refugees from the Nazis - would hide in a cupboard every day with their short wave radio just to hear the truth as reported by the BBC.
The story of the BBC during the war has hardly been told though it is both fascinating and important. Edward Stourton's book is an engrossing account of this important time for one of our great institutions, perhaps to be read along side Penelope Fitzgerald's brilliant novel Human Voices.
This engaging book about the BBC is full of astonishing incidents, truth versus propaganda and the unspoken heroism of correspondents. It tells how eyewitness reports gave a voice to everyone for the first time.