The Deluge is a serious, almost overly sober, study of the enormous changes in Britain brought on by World War I. The accent is on the home front, while the actual fighting remains a muted accompaniment of distant guns and bugles. Domestically, the war fell into three periods. The early days were touched at first with panic and excitement, then stiffened into a policy of ""business as usual,"" in both politics and trade. Then, during 1915-1916, came a period of rising status for labor, tempered by an exorbitant tax on liquor so that ""money was conserved for the more essential commodities of a healthy life."" Coincidental with labor's new features came the sexual emancipation of women. The ""New Woman"" was deeply disillusioned by death; and as hemlines rose dangerously above the ankles and make-up came into use, suddenly every village chemist was knee-deep in sales of contraceptives. In the war's last period, the public finally began to be squeezed both by shortages and rigid government restrictions. Unfortunately, many gains were lost in the post-war world when the public failed to demand vital government for almost twenty years....Marwick, who is 29, has researched his subject with enterprise and thoroughness.