About this item
During World War II, English people of all backgrounds and abilities found unique ways to aid the war effort. For writer Vita Sackville-West, that was with her pen: during the war, she turned out a number of books analyzing and appreciating various aspects of English culture and the war effort that were explicitly designed to boost morale on the long-suffering homefront. One of the most interesting of those volumes, especially when examined decades later, is The Women’s Land Army. In it, Sackville-West traces the history of the Women’s Land Army from its inception in 1939 through 1944, when the book was published, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries. Copiously illustrated with photographs depicting English women engaged in all forms of farm labor, work they were encouraged to take up in the absence of able-bodied men, the book is a potent reminder that winning the war required effort from everyone. Sackville-West’s account of the land army and its work manages to be both richly informative—the book carries an appendix full of tables of facts and statistics—and powerfully human, offering a close-up picture of the daily lives, labor, and aspirations of these women, showing how their work, and the contribution it made to the war effort, became an important part of their identity, with consequences for women’s rights and work that would be felt throughout the postwar years.
Number of Pages: 202
Genre: History, Social Science
Sub-Genre: Military / General, Modern / 20th Century, Women's Studies
Publisher: Univ of Chicago Pr
Author: Vita Sackville-west
Street Date: August 15, 2016
Item Number (DPCI): 248-15-4428
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