Laura Dawes...tells the remarkable story how ordinary people rose to the challenge of keeping Britain healthy. From ingenious schemes to store blood to Boy Scouts collecting seaweed for medicines, this is a highly readable tale of self-sacrifice, ingenuity and collaboration.
Armed conflicts may on the face of it, mean spilled guts, gore, dismemberment, pain and death. But the great paradox of World War II, as described in Laura Dawes's well-researched book, is that the horrors, in significant measure, did the general population a lot of good.
Well-researched and highly informative...Fighting Fit reveals both unfamiliar and well-known facts. Some of these are disturbing, others comical, all conveyed with gusto by Dawes.
A fascinating mix of war stories and human triumph. An enjoyable overview of the pursuit of the population's health that arguably led to the formation of the NHS and the welfare state.
Historian Laura Dawes digs into that other victory of the Second World War: public health in Britain. There had been dire predictions, such as epidemics incubated in air-raid shelters. But by the war's end, UK rates of almost all infectious diseases had dropped, thanks to the Medical Research Council, Nobel laureates such as physiologist Andrew Huxley, hordes or researchers and a willing public. Dawes' sparky account demonstrates how that rare teamwork advanced emergency care, preventive medicine, the treatment of insect-borne disease and, ultimately, the formation of the National Health Service.
A fascinating account of a sickly nation at the beginning of World War Two.
Spirited and readable
Dawes' research is prodigious. And as we have come to expect from this vein of wartime history, we encounter a case of characters and ideas that is both epic in scope and engagingly domestic in style.
This well-researched book is an entertaining and informative read
This beautifully written book is a gripping study of how keeping 'fighting fit' helped Britain win the war and paved the way for the NHS and the welfare state. Highly recommended for medics, history lovers and hypochondriacs alike.