Arthur Marwick's recent work has been a contribution to the debate on ways in which the Second World War affected social change. His work was based on various kinds of original evidence, from gove...rnment reports to private diaries and letters which he used to illustrate changing attitudes to class; and in the programme he discusses critical methods for assessing the value of each type of evidence.
|Module code and title:
|A101, An arts foundation course
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|Angus Calder; Arthur Marwick
|BBC Open University
|Ashridge; Caversham Park; History; Imperial War Museum; Primary sources; Social change
|The programme opens with an extract froma British World War II propaganda film, whose main message is that the war is a "people's war" bringing social change. In the studio Arthur Marwick comments on this view of the war, and explains that the programme will show how he himself investigated how the war changed social attitudes. He briefly describes his use of published historical sources. Shots of Marwick travelling by car to use unpublished government papers stored at Ashridge. He explains his method of working with these documents. Using specific papers he follows correspondence which reveals government attitudes towards the hunger marches of 1936. Stills of marches shown. Marwick briefly describes the change in official attitudes brought about by the war. From the Imperial War Museum he describes the archives held there, and then reads extracts from four very different private diaries kept during the war. He explains the historical significance of each one, and shows relevant photographs of wartime scenes Shots of Caversham Park, Reading, where Marwick is seen arriving to use the BBC archive there. He describes his difficulty in tracing a particular document, and reads several significant items he has located at Caversham. Back in the studio, Warwick uses an animated map of the U.K to show where his research took him. He also briefly summarises his own views about the effect of the war on social change. Finally, Angus Calder, another historian of the period, presents his view of the problem, and comes to a different conclusion. Credits.
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