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In The Invasion Handbook Tom Paulin sets out to recount the origins of the Second World War. The result is a triumph of technique, a simultaneous vision which proceeds by quotation and collage, catalogue and caption, prose as well as verse – a myriad staging of historical realities through the poet’s intense and bitter scrutiny of the particulars of time and place.
The volume opens with the Versailles Peace Treaty of 1919, which excluded Germany from the community of nations, and with the answering but ill-fated attempt of the Locarno Treaties of 1925 to restore the torn fabric of Europe. It evokes Weimar culture, Hitler’s rise to power and the beginnings of the persecution of the Jews, and ends with the Battle of Britain.
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