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Digital Subscriptions > Family Tree > Family Tree October 2019 > Books

Books

Karen Clare takes a look at some new titles of interest in the world of family history

FAMILY HISTORY READS

Me, Me, Me? The Search for Community in Post-war England

by Jon Lawrence

Public dialogue in the modern world would have us believe that community is a thing of the past, that individuals are increasingly isolated in their own bubbles, and social cohesion is fast disappearing down the proverbial plug hole. Historian Jon Lawrence, however, strongly begs to differ and sets about persuading that a sense of community – centred around friendship, family and place – is not dead at all, nor is it even in decline. In fact, although it has changed, it is still going strong today and has just an important role to play in our daily lives as it did to our ancestors.

Drawing on archived social science research data and studies, Me, Me, Me retells the story of England since the Second World War through the eyes of ordinary people, including Lawrence’s own parents, mapping the changes in communities and the resulting political implications. After the war, many working class people began to reject the social pressures of conformity. When parents realised their children could climb the social ladder, they encouraged them to break free of traditional norms and embrace new ways of living.

Rather than being based on proximity and need, community is, says the author, more personalised and ‘based on genuine affection’ and in England today people have never been so connected. He argues it’s time we took a positive view of our new and emerging communities, rather than cling to a nostalgic view of the past and lamenting the loss of ‘real’ community. Contrary to the claims of the doomsayers, says Lawrence, there is much to celebrate. This is a fascinating study of individuals and families in post-war England with a refreshingly positive message for future communities.

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About Family Tree

The shops are piled high with ‘back to school’ preparations for the children. But these new beginnings, plans and dreams aren’t just for the kids. This autumn set yourself the goal to learn more too – to devote more time to your family history! In our latest issue we’ve got three cracking ways to make strides in your family history know-how: 1. New to family history? Check out our 8 page guide packed with info on the essential websites – where to search and what to look for. Follow our advice and watch your tree grow in no time! 2. Want to get organised? Already been doing family history a while? Learn new ways to organise the fruits of your family history labour. Check out professional researcher Susie Douglas’s flexible and affordable strategy for super-organised family history records. 3. Immerse yourself in family history From genning up on the latest DNA know-how, discovering the latest new books and events, learning sleuthing skills from our experts’ advice, and enjoying the reader stories – we have page after page to inspire you on your family history mission. Enjoy!