"Thought-provoking and illuminating...Overy's study of British culture between the wars is absorbing and unexpectedly moving."
-The New York Times Book Review
Original, entertaining, and ever-surprising, The Twilight Years tells the story of how an abiding fear of war influenced English life in the aftermath of World War I. Britain had become a laboratory for modern thought and experimentations, from eugenics to Freud's unconscious. And drawing upon these innovative ideas and concepts, intellectuals, politicians, scientists, and artists-among them Arnold Toynbee, Aldous Huxley, and H.G. Wells-grappled with a creeping fear that the West was staring down the end of civilization. The Twilight Years speaks to the frightening power of ideas in a rapidly changing world.
In The Twilight Years, his thought-provoking and illuminating new study of the interwar period, Richard Overy contends that before 1914 the British believed they had conquered the world and would rule it forever. After World War I, a wrecked generation had to pick up the pieces of that world and ask what went wrong. It is this process that occupies the book, which successfully adopts a broad-brush approach to cultural life without obscuring gemlike details…Overy's study of British culture between the wars is absorbing and unexpectedly moving. Some of its stories may haunt the reader long after the book has been closed, and not just the morbid ones.