Keele author launches critically-acclaimed book about the Falklands War

Dr Helen Parr, Senior Lecturer in International Relations at Keele University, recently published ‘Our Boys: The Story of a Paratrooper’ to critical acclaim.

Dr Parr’s book represents the experiences of paratroopers in the Falklands War, and the aftermath of the conflict. The book is the story of one particular soldier, Dr Parr’s uncle, Dave Parr, who was killed during the conflict, and bringing life to the human experiences, cultural and social history of the world in which Dr Parr’s uncle lived, the people he left behind, and provides a regimental history of the War itself and its lasting impact.

Since its launch, ‘Our Boys’ has received much acclaim, with Dr Parr speaking about her book on BBC Radio 4 and at the Hay Winter Literary Festival. The book has also been reviewed in as The Times, Evening Standard, and Financial Times, as well as being The Guardian’s ‘Book of the Day’, and the Times Higher Education’s (THE) ‘Book of the Week’.

For The Guardian, Ian Jack wrote: ‘There can be few better books about fighting men in all their bravery, terror, and shame’.

With Dr Parr’s historical background and her cultural understanding of the Falklands War, ‘Our Boys’ has been commended on its objective representation of the War, and of the changing social attitudes surrounding it. Dr Parr provides a commentary on social and cultural perspectives of the military, war, and the lasting impact of conflict.

In the Times Higher Education ‘Book of the Week’ feature, A.W. Purdue wrote: ‘Parr manages brilliantly the difficult task of following in the footsteps of her uncle and his comrades while maintaining her academic objectivity… Throughout this fantastic book, the Parachute Regiment is placed within the changing society from which it recruited’.

Dr Parr commented:

“This book meant a lot to me and took me a long time to research and to write. The reception has been amazing, and I could not fully have anticipated the many ways people have responded to it so far. I always hoped it could reach different people - former paratroopers, as well as people who would never normally pick up a military history - and it seems to be beginning to do that.”