||The traditional image of the Home Front in the Second World War is of cheery Londoners, singing along to Vera Lynn on the radio and making do and mending as bombs burst all around them. But there was another side to life in wartime Britain, a side many would like to forget. Questionable governmental procedures often hindered Britain's chances of winning the war. Incredibly meticulous plans were devised for protecting the nation's art treasures, yet little preparation was made for the civil defense of its population. A catalogue of authoritarian blunders shows in frightening detail just how close Britain came to becoming a totalitarian state. Propaganda fed to the people bore scant relation to the facts, and dark forces like racism found a ready outlet in wartime society. Crime continued to flourish, and the class tensions in pre-war society were often thrown into sharp relief. This is a stimulating, unsentimental portrait of a nation at arms.