For today’s reader, who is living through our biggest social dislocation since the Second World War and witnessing a crisis of unprecedented proportions, ‘Blitz Spirit’ is a book written to gently invite comparison and provoke questions about our place in history. Becky Brown has selected extracts from the ‘Mass Observation Archives’ to anthologise the voices of everyday people as they deal individually and collectively with the crisis of the Second World War. The diarists themselves have been selected from every level of society – from warehousemen to widows, soldiers to farmhands, WRENs to architects. The extracts have been chosen to both uplift and to ground; to remind readers that nothing is new, that everything can be weathered and perhaps even made better. After all, World War II saw the birth of the NHS.