Fighting Different Wars: Experience, Memory, and the First World War in Britain

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Cambridge University Press, Feb 19, 2004 - History - 333 pages
The popular idea of the First World War is a story of disillusionment and pointless loss. This vision, however, dates from well after the Armistice. In this 2004 book Janet Watson separates out wartime from retrospective accounts and contrasts war as lived experience - for soldiers, women and non-combatants - with war as memory, comparing men's and women's responses and tracing the re-creation of the war experience in later writings. Using a wealth of published and unpublished wartime and retrospective texts, Watson contends that participants tended to construct their experience - lived and remembered - as either work or service. In fact, far from having a united front, many active participants were in fact 'fighting different wars', and this process only continued in the decades following peace. Fighting Different Wars is an interesting, richly textured and multi-layered book which will be compelling reading for all those interested in the First World War.

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User Review  - Steelwhisper - LibraryThing

Too revisionist for comfort. It all depends on which accounts you select for what you want to say. This selection is very one-sided and defends warfare way beyond what people truly said or were allowed to say. Read full review


men and women in military
amateur and professional
auxiliary war workers
the Beales of Standen
publishing and the postwar years
Creating disillusionment in popular memory
memory enters history
Conclusion Climbing out of the trenches
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About the author (2004)

Janet Watson is Assistant Professor of History at the University of Connecticut.

Born at the very end of World War II in Northeast England, Paul Kennedy was the first in his family to go to a university college. After receiving his Ph.D. in philosophy at Oxford University, Kennedy came to the United States to work in Washington in the National Archives. A J. Richardson Professor of History at Yale University since 1983, Kennedy is also the author of numerous important books. The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers has enjoyed wide acclaim and great success as a best-seller, and Preparing for the Twenty-First Century covers the themes of lectures that Kennedy took part in at Yale University since the mid-1980s. Kennedy's teaching and research are influenced by his knowledge of global trends. Recognizing Kennedy's activity in community service and his wisdom and expertise, the Secretary General of the United Nations invited him to co-direct a working group on the future of the United Nations for the 50th anniversary of the UN General Assembly.

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