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April 24 , 2010

Eggs or Anarchy?


Eggs or Anarchy? is one of the great un-told stories of World War Two. Written by award-winning food writer and Masterchef critic William Sitwell, it reveals the heroic tale of how Lord Woolton, Minister for Food, really fed Britain. As a nation at war, with supply routes under attack and resources scarce, it was Woolton's job to fulfil his promise to the British people that there would be food on the shelves each week.
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Persuading the public to not resort to the black market and to manage on the very limited ration was one thing, but Woolton had to fulfil his side of the , a fish out of water in Churchill's cabinet and the PM himself doubted Woolton would survive.

This is the story of how he battled to save his own career while using every trick in his entrepreneurial book to secure supplies. He battled to outwit unscrupulous dealers on the back streets of cities such as Alexandria in Eygpt and persuaded customs authorities to turn a blind eye to his import schemes.

'It became a constant battle of wits against the enemy,' Woolton later recalled, 'with the harrowing certainty that if we failed, the people would go hungry.'

If Britain had gone hungry the outcome of the war could have been very different. This book, for the first time, finds out the real story of how Lord Woolton provided food for Britain and her colonies and discovers that for him there were days when it was literally a choice of eggs or anarchy.
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