A World at War, 1911-1949

Explorations in the Cultural History of War


In A World At War, 1911-1949, leading and emerging scholars of the cultural history of the two world wars begin to break down the traditional barriers between the historiographies of the two conflicts, identifying commonalities as well as casting new light on each as part of a broader mission, in honour of Professor John Horne, to expand the boundaries of academic exploration of warfare in the 20th century.
Utilizing techniques and approaches developed by cultural historians of the First World War, this volume showcases and explores four crucial themes relating to the socio-cultural attributes and representation of war that cut across both the First and Second World Wars: cultural mobilization, the nature and depiction of combat, the experience of civilians under fire, and the different meanings of victory and defeat.
Contributors are: Annette Becker, Robert Dale, Alex Dowdall, Robert Gerwarth, John Horne, Tomás Irish, Heather Jones, Alan Kramer, Edward Madigan, Anthony McElligott, Michael S. Neiberg, John Paul Newman, Catriona Pennell, Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses, Daniel Todman, and Jay Winter.

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Biographical Note

Catriona Pennell, Ph.D. (2008), Trinity College Dublin, is Associate Professor of History at the University of Exeter. She has published widely on the socio-cultural history of the First World War and its commemoration, including A Kingdom United: Popular Responses to the Outbreak of the First World War in Britain and Ireland (OUP, 2012).
Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses, Ph.D. (1996), Trinity College Dublin, is Professor of History and Head of Department at Maynooth University. He has written extensively on Portugal in the 20th century, from the First World War to the decolonization of Southern Africa.

Table of contents

List of Illustrations
Notes on Contributors

Catriona Pennell and Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses

Part 1: Mobilizing Minds

1 Cultural Mobilization: Henry Moore and the Two World Wars
J.M. Winter
2 Petitioning the World: Intellectuals and Cultural Mobilization in the Great War
Tomás Irish
3 ‘German Servicemen See Europe’: Cultural Mobilization of Troops on the Aegean ‘Quiet Front’
Anthony McElligott

Part 2: Soldiering: Experience and Representation

4 The Sharp End: Witnessing, Perpetrating, and Suffering Violence in 20th Century Wars
Alan Kramer
5 The Isle of Saints and Soldiers: The Evolving Image of the Irish Combatant, 1914–1918
Heather Jones and Edward Madigan
6 “For What and For Whom Were We Fighting?” Red Army Soldiers, Combat Motivation and Survival Strategies on the Eastern Front in the Second World War
Robert Dale

Part 3: Civilians under Fire

7 Against Civilians: Atrocities, Extermination, and Genocide from One World War to the Other, 1942/44–1914
Annette Becker
8 Mobility and Immobility in Civilian Experiences of the First World War: Refugees and Occupied Populations in Europe, 1914–1918
Alex Dowdall
9 Occupation, Memory, and Cultural Demobilization: Paris as Case Study
Michael S. Neiberg

Part 4: Victory and Defeat

10 Post-wars and Violence: Europe between 1918 and the Later 1940s
Robert Gerwarth
11 A Croat Iliad? Miroslav Krleža and the Refractions of Victory and Defeat in Central Europe
John Paul Newman
12 “The Worst Disaster”: British Reactions to the Fall of Singapore
Daniel Todman
A World at War: 1911–1949: Conclusion
John Horne



All interested in the history of the two world wars, particularly anyone concerned with socio-cultural, transnational, and comparative approaches.

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