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  • Published: 15 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9780141974972
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $19.99

Lovers and Strangers

An Immigrant History of Post-War Britain




The acclaimed history of the immigrants who made modern Britain, now in paperback

The battered and exhausted Britain of 1945 was desperate for workers. From all over the world thousands of individuals took the plunge. Most assumed they would spend just three or four years here, sending most of their pay back home, but instead large numbers stayed - and transformed the country. Drawing on an amazing array of unusual and surprising sources, Clair Wills' wonderful new book brings to life the incredible diversity and strangeness of the migrant experience. She introduces us to lovers, scroungers, dancers, homeowners, teachers, drinkers, carers and many more to show the opportunities and excitement as much as the humiliation and poverty that could be part of the new arrivals' experience. Irish, Bengalis, West Indians, Poles, Maltese, Punjabis and Cypriots battled to fit into an often shocked Britain and, to their own surprise, found themselves making permanent homes.

  • Published: 15 April 2018
  • ISBN: 9780141974972
  • Imprint: Penguin Press
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 464
  • RRP: $19.99

Praise for Lovers and Strangers

A lyrical account... deeply researched and full of wise and original observations about migration

David Goodhart, The Times

Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand not only the transformation of British society after the war but also its character today

Piers Brendon, Literary Review

Lovers and Strangers presents a historically rich view of immigration to Britain. Wills writes with both humour and detail about the lives of thousands of single men from Poland, Ireland, the West Indies and South Asia. Many of her tales are filled with the music, alcohol and nightlife which occupied the attentions of thousands of single men

Burhan Wazir, Chatham House

Strangers and Lovers is brimming with new archival sources, careful cullings of governmental documents and oral histories - the book encompasses poetry and fiction as well as sociological accounts.

Sukhdev Sandhu, Guardian

What you get in Lovers and Strangers is a mix of oral history, scholarly analysis and impressionistic essay

Clive Davis, The Times

The perfect post-Brexit book

Arifa Akbar, Evening Standard

Masterful... these are the stories of Britain's yesterdays, todays and tomorrows, and they could hardly be more timely.

Christopher Kissane, Financial Times

Her well-written, readable story evolves like a novel or film script with key characters.

Times Higher Education

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