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An American Uprising in Second World War England Reviews

An American Uprising in Second World War England by Kate Werran

An American Uprising in Second World War England

Mutiny in the Duchy

Kate Werran

Score pending

2 reviews

Category: History, Non-fiction
Imprint: Pen & Sword History
Publisher: Pen & Sword Books Ltd
Publication date: 30 Apr 2020
ISBN: 9781526759542

This is the first-time telling of an extraordinary Second World War story about a mutiny among African American soldiers in Britain and the court martial that followed. Not only did the drama grip the United Kingdom and America - it just happened to involve soldiers from one of the battalion's that went on famously to face Omaha Beach on D-Day.

4 stars out of 5
Afua Hirsch
5 Aug 2020

"meticulously researched... fascinating"

That this racism was allowed to play itself out on British soil is a stain on the record of Britain’s government, with its cowardly failure to protect not just British law, but also the many black British and colonial subjects who found themselves caught up in the hostile attitudes of white Americans. For a short while, such global race politics were concentrated in a town in wartime Cornwall, and this is what makes Werran’s book so fascinating.

Reviews

3 stars out of 5
Clive Davis
19 Jun 2020

"she has assembled a fascinating collection of vignettes of a nation under arms..."

There are all the makings of an absorbing feature film here. You can imagine what, say, Alan Bennett might make of the combination of military ritual and a quaint seaside setting. Werran makes heavy weather of the narrative; her prose is often clumsy and the chronology, leaping back and forth, sometimes makes it hard to keep track of the legal and political details. But she has assembled a fascinating collection of vignettes of a nation under arms... Tales of civil rights injustice often revolve around one vivid human story. This one is constructed around 14 ciphers. But that, in a way, is eloquent testimony to how powerful and all-embracing Jim Crow rules once were.