Writing 15 years after the end of the Second World War, the historian A.J. P. Taylor wrote that the war, ‘… like its predecessor, has passed into history’ and was as remote to students as the Boer War to their lecturers’. He was, of course, wrong, for in Britain at least, the war cast a long shadow, invading language, and becoming central to that mixture of memory and myth that constitutes the national self-image.
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