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Women and family in England, c. 1945–2000

This book examines women’s experiences of motherhood in England in the years between 1945 and 2000. Based on a new body of 160 oral history interviews, the book offers the first comprehensive historical study of the experience of motherhood in the second half of the twentieth century. Motherhood is an area where a number of discourses and practices meet. The book therefore forms a thematic study looking at aspects of mothers’ lives such as education, health care, psychology, labour market trends and state intervention. Looking through the prism of motherhood provides a way of understanding the complex social changes that have taken place in the post-war world. This book will be essential reading for students and researchers in the field of twentieth-century British social history. However it will also be of interest to scholars in related fields and a general readership with an interest in British social history, and the history of family and community in modern Britain.

Scientific Governance in Britain, 1914-79 provides a ‘big picture’ account of science in modern Britain. It charts the changing contours of science and illuminates its role in governing the nation. The twentieth century saw a dramatic increase in publicly funded research and the number of scientific advisors across government. At the same time science was evoked in the pursuit of the effective and rational management of people and resources – of making policies and achieving Britain’s goals. Spanning fifteen essays, this book examines the connected histories of how science itself was governed, and how it was used in governance. Individually these contributions reveal a breadth of perspectives on the relationship between science and governance. Taken together they connect the many people involved in, and affected by, science in twentieth-century Britain. Essays on the governance of science include topics such as the establishment and functioning of new governmental departments and agencies, as well as the (sometimes uncertain) responses of pre-existing scientific bodies, notably the Royal Society. Operational Research features prominently as the model for later structures. Topics treated under the theme of governance by science include specific elaborations of the sometimes vague-seeming rhetoric of science’s rational fitness as a modus operandi. More concrete ambitions for science are explored in relation to broadcasting, psychology, sociology and education. The essays in this volume combine the latest research on twentieth-century British science with insightful discussion of what it meant to govern – and govern with – science.

Empire and the question of belonging

This is a book-length study of the ideological foundations of British imperialism in the early twentieth century. By focussing on the heretofore understudied concept of imperial citizenship, it illustrates how the political, cultural, and intellectual underpinnings of empire were constructed and challenged by forces in both Britain and the ‘Britains Overseas’, the settlement colonies of Canada, South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Debates about imperial citizenship reveal how Britons conceived of the empire: was it an extension of the nation-state, a collection of separate and distinct communities, or a type of ‘world-state?’ These debates were also about the place of empire in British society, its importance to the national identity, and the degree to which imperial subjects were or were not seen as ‘fellow Britons’. This public discourse was at its most fervent from the Anglo-Boer War (1899–1902) to the early 1920s, when Britain emerged victorious, shocked and exhausted from the Great War. Drawing on the thinking of imperial activists, publicists, ideologues and travellers such as Lionel Curtis, John Buchan, Arnold White, Richard Jebb and Thomas Sedgwick, the book is a comparative history of how the idea of imperial citizenship took hold in early-twentieth-century Britain and how it helped foster the articulation of a broader British World. It also reveals how imperial citizenship as a form of imperial identity was challenged by voices in both Britain and the empire, and how it influenced later imperial developments.

J. B. Priestley and English culture

This book provides an academic study of J. B. Priestley—novelist, playwright, screen-writer, journalist and broadcaster, political activist, public intellectual and popular entertainer, one of the makers of twentieth-century Britain, and one of its sharpest critics. From his scathing analysis of a slump-stricken nation in the best-selling English Journey, to his popular wartime broadcasts that paved the way to 1945 and the welfare state, his post-war critique of ‘Admass’ and the Cold War (he was a co-founder of CND), and his continual engagement with the question of ‘Englishness’, Priestley addressed the key issues of the century from a radical standpoint in fiction, journalism and plays which appealed to a wide audience and made him one of the most successful writers of his day, in a career that spanned the 1920s to the 1980s. The book explores the cultural, literary and political history of twentieth-century Britain through the themes that preoccupied Priestley throughout his life: competing versions of Englishness; tradition, modernity and the decline of industrial England; ‘Americanisation’, mass culture and ‘Admass’; cultural values and ‘broadbrow’ culture; consumerism and the decay of the public sphere; and the loss of spirituality and community in ‘the nervous excitement, the frenzy, the underlying despair of our century’. It argues that Priestley has been unjustly neglected for too long: we have a great deal to learn both from this multi-faceted man, and from the English radical tradition he represented.

On 25 September 1911 the battleship Liberté exploded in Toulon harbour. This tragedy is just one of the many disasters that the French fleet suffered at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth centuries and also represents the peak of these calamities, since it is undoubtedly the most deadly suffered by a French Navy ship in peacetime. The aim of this article is to study how the navy managed this disaster and the resulting deaths of service personnel, which were all the more traumatic because the incident happened in France’s main military port and in circumstances that do not match the traditional forms of death at sea.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
EP Thompson, the New Left and postwar British politics

This book tells the story of the political and intellectual adventures of Edward Palmer Thompson, one of Britain's foremost twentieth-century thinkers. It shows that all of Thompson's work, from his acclaimed histories to his voluminous political writings to his little-noticed poetry, was inspired by the same passionate and idiosyncratic vision of the world. The book demonstrates the connection between Thompson's famously ferocious attack on the ‘Stalinism in theory’ of Louis Althusser and his assaults on positivist social science in such books as The making of the English working class, and produces evidence to show that Thompson's hostility to both left- and right-wing forms of authoritarianism was rooted in first-hand experience of violent political repression.

Editor: Claire L. Jones

Drawing together essays written by scholars from Great Britain and the United States, this book provides an important contribution to the emerging field of disability history. It explores the development of modern transatlantic prosthetic industries in nineteenth and twentieth centuries and reveals how the co-alignment of medicine, industrial capitalism, and social norms shaped diverse lived experiences of prosthetic technologies and in turn, disability identities. Through case studies that focus on hearing aids, artificial tympanums, amplified telephones, artificial limbs, wigs and dentures, this book provides a new account of the historic relationship between prostheses, disability and industry. Essays draw on neglected source material, including patent records, trade literature and artefacts, to uncover the historic processes of commodification surrounding different prostheses and the involvement of neglected companies, philanthropists, medical practitioners, veterans, businessmen, wives, mothers and others in these processes. Its culturally informed commodification approach means that this book will be relevant to scholars interested in cultural, literary, social, political, medical, economic and commercial history.

The fate of Namibian skulls in the Alexander Ecker Collection in Freiburg

This article explores the history of the Alexander Ecker Collection and situates it within the larger trajectory of global collecting of human remains during the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. This is then linked to the specific context of the genocide in then German South West Africa (1904–8), with the central figure of Eugen Fischer. The later trajectory of the collection leads up to the current issues of restitution. The Freiburg case is instructive since it raises issues about the possibilities and limitations of provenance research. At the same time, the actual restitution of fourteen human remains in 2014 occurred in a way that sparked serious conflict in Namibia which is still on-going four years later. In closing, exigencies as well as pressing needs in connection with the repatriation and (where possible) rehumanisation of human remains are discussed.

Human Remains and Violence: An Interdisciplinary Journal
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Gender, welfare and surveillance in the twentieth century

For much of the twentieth century women police often played a key role in the detection and prevention of child abuse, neglect and the 'policing of families'. This book examines the professional roles, identities, activities and experiences of women police in the United Kingdom. It comments on the gendering of modern surveillance technologies, on the relationship between justice and welfare, and on the changing situation of women in the twentieth century. The book shows that assumptions about class, status, gender and sexuality were both challenged and reinforced by women police. Although institutional structures and hierarchies - including those of gender -shaped the women police officers' professional experiences, the senior officers achieved considerable success in creating their own professional networks. The book examines the status and 'respectability' associated with women's work in the police service, and focuses on personal testimony in order to discuss women's perceptions of themselves. It analyses women's operations within the technologies of physical surveillance, dealing with both uniform beat patrol and undercover observations. The regulation of specific groups was done through policewomen's 'specialist' role: firstly, the policing of family, youth and child welfare; and secondly, the regulation of sexuality in relation to adult women. Given that police duties were shaped by legislative frameworks and by institutional strategies, opportunities to transform daily practice were ultimately limited. Despite positive and approbatory statements from women officers regarding integration, women as a whole were far less likely to be promoted than male colleagues in the 1970s and 1980s.

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A lived religious history of English Catholicism, 1945–82

Drawing upon a multi-disciplinary methodology employing diverse written sources, material practices and vivid life histories, Faith in the Family seeks to assess the impact of the Second Vatican Council on the ordinary believer, alongside contemporaneous shifts in British society relating to social mobility, the sixties, sexual morality, and secularisation. Chapters examine the changes in the Roman Catholic liturgy and Christology, devotion to Mary, the rosary and the place of women in the family and church, as well as the enduring (but shifting) popularity of Saints Bernadette and Thérèse.

Appealing to students of modern British gender and cultural history, as well as a general readership interested in religious life in Britain in the second half of the twentieth century, Faith in the Family illustrates that despite unmistakable differences in their cultural accoutrements and interpretations of Catholicism, English Catholics continued to identify with and practise the ‘Faith of Our Fathers’ before and after Vatican II.