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Towards the absurd
Neil Cornwell

3 The twentieth century: towards the absurd ‘. . . Why do you sigh in this beastly way, somebody? Absurd? Well, absurd. Good Lord! mustn’t a man ever – . . .’ ‘Absurd!’ he cried. ‘This is the worst of trying to tell. . . . And you say, Absurd! Absurd be – exploded! Absurd! My dear boys, what can you expect from a man who out of sheer nervousness had just flung overboard a new pair of shoes!’ (Joseph Conrad, Heart of Darkness, 1899/1902) Twenty years ago there were swarms of manifestos. Those authoritarian documents rehabilitated art, abolished punctuation

in The absurd in literature
Casper Sylvest

CH APTER 6 Into the twentieth century Collective security is the only security. (George Peabody Gooch, 19351) The twentieth century was profoundly shaped by the experience of world wars, and it was in coming to terms with arms races, economic crises, aggressive nationalism and totalitarianism that liberal intellectuals, particularly in the Anglo-American world, most vigorously and successfully promoted the ideas and ideals of internationalism. The League of Nations and the United Nations can be seen as the blossoming fruits as well as the sad failures of this

in British liberal internationalism, 1880–1930
Mussolini, Parvus, and co.
Ashley Lavelle

chapter 6 Flawed early twentieth-century radicals: Mussolini, Parvus, and co. There were glaring flaws, continuities, and ideological muddles in the case of the most infamous of renegades, Benito Mussolini. Here is a striking case of a deeply flawed radical for whom an experience of defeat – in the form of the failure of socialists and the working class to prevent the First World War – was arguably necessary, but not sufficient, for him to shift from international socialism to national fascism. Countless others, needless to say, did not respond to the

in The politics of betrayal
Textual representations

The changes in warfare during the twentieth century could be addressed from a variety of perspectives, political, cultural, and national. This book addresses the issue of how gender is constructed by exploring a range of historical events. It also asserts that a focus on gender, rather than producing a depoliticised reading of our culture, offers an informed debate on a range of political issues. The book explores the impact of warfare on women whose civilian or quasi-military roles resulted in their exile or self-exile to the role of 'other'. The book first draws upon a number of genres to use Richard Aldington and H. D. (the poet Hilda Doolittle), to understand the social and cultural implications of warfare for both parties in a relationship. Then, it examines the intricate gender assumptions that surround the condition of 'shell shock' through a detailed exploration of the life and work of Ver a Brittain. Continuing this theme, considering the nature of warfare, the gendered experience of warfare, through the lens of the home front, the book discusses the gendered attitudes to the First World War located within Aldous Huxley's novella 'Farcical History of Richard Greenow'. Wars represented in Western cinema are almost universally gendered as male, which corresponds to the battlefield history of twentieth-century warfare. As this situation changes, and more women join the armed services, especially in the United States, a more inclusive cinematic coding evolves through struggle. The book considers three decades of film, from the Vietnam War to the present.

A distinctive politics?

English radicalism has been a deep-rooted but minority tradition in the political culture since at least the seventeenth century. The central aim of this book is to examine, in historical and political context, a range of key events and individuals that exemplify English radicalism in the twentieth century. This analysis is preceded by defining precisely what has constituted this tradition; and by the main outline of the development of the tradition from the Civil War to the end of the nineteenth century. Three of the main currents of English radicalism in the twentieth century have been the labour movement, the women’s movement and the peace movement. These are discussed in some detail, as a framework for the detailed consideration of ten key representative figures of the tradition in the twentieth century: Bertrand Russell, Sylvia Pankhurst, Ellen Wilkinson, George Orwell, E.P. Thompson, Michael Foot, Joan Maynard, Stuart Hall, Tony Benn and Nicolas Walter. The question of ‘agency’ – of how to bring about radical change in a predominantly conservative society and culture – has been a fundamental issue for English radicals. It is argued that, in the twentieth century, many of the important achievements in progressive politics have taken place in and through extra-parliamentary movements, as well as through formal political parties and organisations – the Labour Party and other socialist organisations – and on occasion, through libertarian and anarchist politics. The final chapter considers the continuing relevance of this political tradition in the early twenty-first century, and reviews its challenges and prospects.

Stephen Constantine

8 Earning a living in the twentieth century The quality of life for entrepreneurs and employees resident in Gibraltar, and of their families, depended considerably on their energies and enterprise; but it is a similar platitude to acknowledge that a great deal also depended on context. Men, and women (to adapt Marx), make their own history, but not in circumstances of their own choosing.1 It was therefore fortunate that in the nineteenth century, as has been shown, the circumstances in which people in Gibraltar found themselves were eventually conducive to an

in Community and identity
Class, race and gender
Michael E. Vance

Early in the twentieth century the future lieutenant-governor of British Columbia, Robert Randolph Bruce, wrote to the English sporting magazine the Field , claiming that in his community a prospective settler would find ‘companions who have been at Eton; he will find golfers who have played at St Andrew’s; and in his hunts he will be joined by

in Scotland, empire and decolonisation in the twentieth century
Anthony Gristwood

My aim in this chapter is to explore some issues concerning social memory, commemoration, and the social construction of contemporary identities in the urban arena. By examining the production and iconography of two exhibitionary events in twentieth-century Seville, I want to illuminate the complex connections between debates about the location of Spanish culture, definitions of ‘Spanishness’ and the recasting of the legacy of Spanish imperialism. As a key site within Spanish national mythology and imperial

in Imperial cities
The case of Belfast and Glasgow, c. 1920–70
Peter Jones

councils of the time, the corporations of Glasgow and Belfast expanded their sphere of municipal responsibilities over the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As historians have suggested, one important spur to the development of more refined anticorruption regulations was the growing power and resources placed in the hands of elected councillors and local officials. 9

in The many lives of corruption

The relationship between Scotland and the British Empire in the twentieth century was wide-ranging. This book represents ground-breaking research in the field of Scotland's complex and often-changing relationship with the British Empire in the period. The contours of Scottish intercontinental migration were significantly redrawn during the twentieth century as a consequence of two world wars. The book reveals the apparent means used to assess the complexities of linking places of birth to migration and to various modern attempts to appeal to ethnic diasporas. The strange case of jute brings out some paradoxical dimensions to Scotland's relationship with England and the empire in the twentieth century. The book argues that the Scottish immigrants' perceptions of class, race and gender were equally important for interpreting the range of their experiences in the British Columbia. The mainstay of organised anti-colonialist critique and mobilisation, in Scotland lay in socialist and social democratic groups. The book examines how the Scottish infantry regiments, and their popular and political constituencies, responded to rapidly reducing circumstances in the era of decolonisation. Newspapers such as The Scotsman, The Glasgow Herald, and the Daily Record brought Africa to the Scottish public with their coverage of Mau Mau insurgency and the Suez Crisis. The book looks into the Scottish cultural and political revival by examining the contributions of David Livingstone. It also discusses the period of the Hamilton by-election of 1967 and the three referenda of 1979, 1997 and 2014 on devolution and independence.