The Women'S Land Army

  • Publish Date: 2016-08-15
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Author: Vita Sackville-West
  • $31.15
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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, isThe Womens Land Army. In it, Sackville-West traces the history of the Womens 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-Wests account of the land army and its work manages to be both richly informativethe book carries an appendix full of tables of facts and statisticsand 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 womens rights and work that would be felt throughout the postwar years.

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