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Editors: Lucy Bland and Richard Carr

This volume offers a series of new essays on the British left – broadly interpreted – during the First World War. Dealing with grassroots case studies of unionism from Bristol to the North East of England, and of high politics in Westminster, these essays probe what changed, and what remained more or less static, in terms of labour relations. For those interested in class, gender, and parliamentary politics or the interplay of ideas between Britain and places such as America, Ireland and Russia, this work has much to offer. From Charlie Chaplin to Ellen Wilkinson, this work paints a broad canvass of British radicalism during the Great War.

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Philip M. Taylor

Chapter 21 The First World War The locomotive of historical change was set in full flight in 1914 for both warfare and propaganda. The war that began with dancing in the streets throughout Europe’s capitals ended four years later with an armistice signed in the Compiègne Forest amid sorrow, tragedy, and recrimination. It was a war that began with traditional volunteer armies and ended with all the belligerents having introduced conscription. It saw the destruction of four European empires – the Russian, German, Austro-Hungarian, and Ottoman – and the creation

in Munitions of the Mind
Helen Boak

dented. Kathleen Canning has lamented the lack of scholarship exploring the significance for the post-war gender order of the transformations in women’s lives wrought by the war, though Benjamin Ziemann has challenged the appropriateness of the word ‘transformation’, an indication that the war’s legacy for women in the Weimar Republic is contested. 5 In general, historians divide into three schools of thought over the impact and legacy of the First World War on women’s role in German society: some see the Great War as a catalyst for change, some believe it merely

in Women in the Weimar Republic
Jane Martin

8 Revolutionary politics and the First World War Therefore, being one of those individuals who have a trick of gravitating towards a minority, I find myself doing my little best in the direction of inducing British trade unionists to help their suffering comrades in Russia. Difficult though, at this terrible time, the task may be, I am encouraged by the thought that this organised British working class movement for their relief will help to strengthen that world-wide solidarity of Labour – the one great weapon with which the workers in any country can

in Making socialists
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A defeat borne of nationalist bloodshed
Ashley Lavelle

chapter 3 The First World War: a defeat borne of nationalist bloodshed The outbreak of hostilities in August 1914 was a calamitous defeat not just for humanity at large, but also for revolutionary socialism and internationalism. An undeniably imperialist war, the conflict was one in which ‘millions of people laid down their lives to wrest a few yards of land from the enemy’ (Deutscher, 1954: 212). Rosa Luxemburg recoiled in disgust at this exhibition of capitalist barbarism: ‘Shamed, dishonoured, wading in blood and dripping with filth … an orgy of anarchy … so

in The politics of betrayal
Nigel Grizzard

Introduction This period saw the transformation of Leeds Jewry from a migrant community to a community of Englishmen of the Jewish persuasion. The impact of the Aliens Act of 1905 on the community, the slowdown of immigration and the rising proportion of English-born children all changed the face of the community. The outbreak of the First World War put the Jewish community in the political firing line, with discussions about Jewish loyalty in the local press. The period 1914–18 was one

in Leeds and its Jewish Community
Stephen T. Casper

• 2 • The First World War and the transformation of neurology Introduction Could there be two more promising names than Henry Head (1861– 1940) and Walter Russell Brain (1895–1966) for a history of the science and medicine of the nervous system? By happy coincidence, both figures were neatly emblematic of their generations. Head’s period of influence was approximately greatest between 1895 and 1925; Brain’s came a generation later, approximately 1930 to 1960. The men bore striking similarities to each other. They both practised at the London Hospital, a medical

in The neurologists
Adrian Curtin

2 Fantastical representations of death in First World War drama A British journalist, present at a regatta featuring British and German naval ships in the port of Kiel in 1914, pondered what was to come: ‘Those of us who were privileged to be present … realised then, if never before, that when war came – should it ever come – it would be conducted under conditions new and strange and fantastical’ (Hurd, 1914: 15, my emphasis). A French priest, stationed at a military hospital in France during the war, recalled listening to wounded soldiers discussing their

in Death in modern theatre
Debbie Palmer

2 The First World War and nurses’ choice of occupational representation In 1918, Francis Dudley, medical superintendent of the Cornwall Lunatic Asylum, reported that rising sickness levels among the nursing staff had contributed to a rapid uptake in trade union membership and strike action. According to Dudley, the previous year had been ‘an exceptionally trying year for the staff’ resulting in the deaths of two attendants and five nurses from infectious diseases: temporary attendant Matthews and nurses Symons, Vague and Launder from typhoid fever; attendant

in Who cared for the carers?
Constance Bantman and David Berry

7 The French anarchist movement and the First World War Constance Bantman and David Berry As one of the anarchist anti-militarist and anti-patriotic heartlands of the Western world, the French anarchist movement found itself in the eye of the storm at the outbreak of the First World War, famously rallying to the war effort – albeit neither unanimously nor unwaveringly – within just ten days of the declaration of war. This chapter examines the events and debates leading up to the interventionist 1916 Manifesto of the Sixteen (nine of whose original fifteen

in Anarchism, 1914–18