By mobilizing a million housewives, the upper- and middle-class leaders of Women's Voluntary Service made a vital contribution to Britain's war effort. At the same time they sought to sustain their own authority as social leaders. James Hinton's original and evocative study reconstructs an intimate portrait of a women's public world neglected by historians. It challenges accepted accounts of the democratizing impact of the Second World War. Among women the war reinforced, not democracy, but the continuities of class.

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