Books interview with Daniel Todman: “Everything that happened in 1940 isn’t somehow down to Winston Churchill”

Daniel Todman talks to Matt Elton about the first book in his ambitious new two-volume history of the Second World War, which explores military, social and political events alike

British soldiers arrive to take part in the battle of France, 1940. (Photo by Universal History Archive/UIG via Getty Images)

This article was first published in the July 2016 issue of BBC History Magazine 

In context

Unlike the First World War, which arrived relatively suddenly, the Second World War was preceded in the 1930s by a sense that conflict was looming. Daniel Todman opens the first volume of his history against this backdrop, considering the international crisis and how it shaped political and social developments in Britain. With key emphasis on the events of 1940, the book then explores the war until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941 brought the US into the conflict.

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