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The relief and resettlement of Europe’s unaccompanied and displaced children in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War has recently received considerable scholarly scrutiny. The two books reviewed here, while different in scope and methodology, are both welcome additions to the growing literature on the topic.
Asked to call to mind images of children and war in Britain, and the most ready association is that of children living through the ordeal of bombing and evacuation in the Second World War. The Children’s War, Britain 1914–1918 re-directs our attention to the lives of British children in the Great War.
Sometime, around the middle of the 20th century, the British began to think differently about the well-being of children. Where anxieties had once dwelt on malnourished and disease-ridden bodies, they now shifted to contemplate the civilizational consequences of young disordered minds.