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Politics, economic mobilisation and society, 1939-45

This book surveys the political, economic and social history of Northern Ireland in the Second World War. Since its creation in 1920, Northern Ireland has been a deeply divided society and the book explores these divisions, including loyalist and republican commemoration, IRA activity, policing, internment, preparations for war and the absence of consensus on the war itself. It examines rearmament in the 1930s, the relatively slow pace of wartime mobilisation, the impact of the blitz in 1941, as well as labour and industrial relations. Northern Ireland was the only part of the UK with a devolved government and no military conscription during the war. The book includes the debate on conscription, including the opposition of the Catholic Church, as well as the controversy on the formation of the Home Guard. The absence of military conscription made the process of mobilisation, and the experience of men and women, very different from that in Britain. There is also extensive coverage of wartime politics and social policy. As elsewhere in the UK, the war raised important questions about housing, crime, youth welfare, and led the broader debates on social policy following the 1942 Beveridge Report. The conclusion considers Northern Ireland in 1945 and how its government faced the domestic and international challenges of the postwar world.

Farewell to Plato’s Cave
Author: Bryce Evans

In the first book detailing the social and economic history of Ireland during the Second World War, Dr Bryce Evans reveals the hidden story of the Irish Emergency. If the diplomatic history of Irish neutrality is familiar, the realities of everyday life are much less so. This work provides a clear summary of Ireland’s economic survival at the time as well as an indispensable overview of every published work on Ireland during the Second World War. While useful as a textbook introducing writing about the period, the book contributes a new and enlightening take on popular material and spiritual existence as global conflict impacted the country. It compares economic and social conditions in Ireland to those of the other European neutral states: Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Portugal. It explores how the government coped with the crisis and how ordinary Irish people reacted to emergency state control of the marketplace. With their government wounded by British economic warfare, the Irish people engaged in the black market, cross-border smuggling, and popular resistance. Exploring how notions of morality intersected with state-regulated production, consumption and distribution, this study reveals a colourful history detailing exploitation, deprivation, deviance and intolerance amidst the state’s shaky survival. Drawing on a wealth of archival material, this book provides a slice of real life during a pivotal episode in Irish and world history. It will be essential reading to the informed general reader, students, and academics alike.

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Clausewitz, Darwin, Henty and others
W.J. Reader

I Kitchener’s armies marched away to war of a kind that no one had seen before; war of a kind that some people said would never break out; war that nearly everyone expected would move fast to a thrilling climax and be over in a matter of months. To a generation that has cause to regard war as unmitigated catastrophe it comes as a shock to find a sensitive, highly educated, highly sophisticated poet - Rupert Brooke - writing, on his way to Gallipoli early in 1915: T

in 'At duty’s call'
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England and the defence of British sovereignty
Ben Wellings

’re Here, before dispersing amongst the commuting crowds. Commemorative activities are designed to collapse time and permit the participant to empathise with the situation of their forebears. The Somme had been chosen as one of three focal points for the UK Government’s commemorative activities as the most iconic of the battles in Britain’s First World War: the moment when the volunteer army of the ‘Pals Battalions’ died in great numbers as the ‘Big Push’ faltered in the face of German resistance. But as the ad-vention played out on 1 July 2016, the British

in English nationalism, Brexit and the Anglosphere
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Making sense of conflict
Kirsten Forkert, Federico Oliveri, Gargi Bhattacharyya, and Janna Graham

2 War narratives: making sense of conflict On 11 July 2018, an argument between then Italian Minister of Interiors, Matteo Salvini, and the former President of Italian NGO Emergency, Cecilia Strada, circulated through social media. Salvini suggested that the vast majority of migrants recently rescued in the Mediterranean were in fact people not entitled to protection, because they were not from countries at war. These are the nationalities of the immigrants who boarded the Italian Coast Guard vessel ‘Diciotti’, recovered by a previous vessel in Libyan waters

in How media and conflicts make migrants
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The empire and international crisis in the 1930s
Martin Thomas

As international tension increased during the 1930s, the idea that the empire could compensate for French demographic, economic and military weakness next to the fascist powers gained favour in Paris. It was widely assumed in government and parliament that the colonial contribution to any future war in Europe would exceed that of 1914–18. And

in The French empire between the wars
Author: Ian Connor

At the end of the Second World War, some 12 million German refugees and expellees fled or were expelled from their homelands in Eastern and Central Europe into what remained of the former Reich. The task of integrating these dispossessed refugees and expellees in post-war Germany was one of the most daunting challenges facing the Allied occupying authorities after 1945. The early post-war years witnessed the publication of many works on the refugee problem in the German Federal Republic (FRG). This book explores the origins of the refugee problem and shows that the flight and expulsion of the refugees and expellees from their homelands from 1944 onwards was a direct consequence of National Socialist policies. It outlines the appalling conditions under which the expulsions were carried out. The book then examines the immensity of the refugee problem in the Western Occupation Zones in economic and social terms. An analysis of the relations between the refugee and native populations in the Western Occupation Zones of Germany in the period 1945-1950 follows. The book also focuses on the attitude of the political parties towards the refugees and expellees in the early post-war years and analyses the newcomers' voting behaviour up to 1950. It argues that while economic and political integration had been largely accomplished by the late 1960s, social integration turned out to be a more protracted process. Finally, the book examines political radicalisation: despite disturbances in refugee camps in 1948-1949 and the emergence of expellee trek associations in 1951-1952.

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Dean Blackburn

When Penguin published the first Special, in November 1937, Britain was in the grip of two inter-related crises. The first was economic. Although some efforts had been made to resolve the economic downturn that had followed from the global financial crisis of 1929, over 10 per cent of the adult population remained unemployed, and primary poverty continued to blight large sections of the population. 1 The second crisis was political. The Spanish Civil War had aroused considerable anxiety, and as they observed Hitler’s advance, many commentators and

in Penguin Books and political change
Prisoners of the past
Author: Richard Jobson

This book examines the impact that nostalgia has had on the Labour Party’s political development since 1951. In contrast to existing studies that have emphasised the role played by modernity, it argues that nostalgia has defined Labour’s identity and determined the party’s trajectory over time. It outlines how Labour, at both an elite and a grassroots level, has been and remains heavily influenced by a nostalgic commitment to an era of heroic male industrial working-class struggle. This commitment has hindered policy discussion, determined the form that the modernisation process has taken and shaped internal conflict and cohesion. More broadly, Labour’s emotional attachment to the past has made it difficult for the party to adjust to the socioeconomic changes that have taken place in Britain. In short, nostalgia has frequently left the party out of touch with the modern world. In this way, this book offers an assessment of Labour’s failures to adapt to the changing nature and demands of post-war Britain.

Italian Scottish experience in World War II
Author: Wendy Ugolini

Italy's declaration of war on Britain in June 1940 had devastating consequences for Italian immigrant families living in Scotland signalling their traumatic construction as the 'enemy other'. This book takes a case study of a long-established immigrant group and explores how notions of belonging and citizenship are undermined at a time of war. The experiences of the Italian population in Britain during World War Two illuminate the complex and diverse ways in which ethnicity interacts with a sense of belonging to a nation at a time of conflict. There is a tendency within leading British Italian texts to portray the Italians as somehow immune from the difficulties faced by other ethnic minority groups. This book looks at the role of the Fasci all'estero, clubs set up by Benito Mussolini's regime in order to 'fascistise' Italian diasporic communities in the inter-war period. It shows how the wartime configuration of Italians as the 'enemy within' served to dramatically reinforce a sense of 'otherness' and not 'belonging' already prevalent amongst the children of Italian immigrants. The book also offers a critical overview of current representations of Italian internment in Britain, in particular the ways in which the rhetorical device of 'Collar the lot!' is utilised to give the misleading impression that 'all' Italians were interned. The impact of the government's policy of relocating Italian women from coastal regions, the narratives of the Pioneer Corps, and the Italians' declarations of alienage are also discussed.