Open Access (free)

Vaccinating Britain

Mass vaccination and the public since the Second World War

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Gareth Millward

Vaccinating Britain investigates the relationship between the British public and vaccination policy since 1945. It is the first book to examine British vaccination policy across the post-war period and covers a range of vaccines, providing valuable context and insight for those interested in historical or present-day public health policy debates. Drawing on government documents, newspapers, internet archives and medical texts it shows how the modern vaccination system became established and how the public played a key role in its formation. British parents came to accept vaccination as a safe, effective and cost-efficient preventative measure. But occasional crises showed that faith in the system was tied to contemporary concerns about the medical profession, the power of the state and attitudes to individual vaccines. Thus, at times the British public demanded more comprehensive vaccination coverage from the welfare state; at others they eschewed specific vaccines that they thought were dangerous or unnecessary. Moreover, they did not always act uniformly, with “the public” capable of expressing contradictory demands that were often at odds with official policy. This case study of Britain’s vaccination system provides insight into the relationship between the British public and the welfare state, as well as contributing to the historiography of public health and medicine.

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Britain’s lost revolution?

Jacobite Scotland and French grand strategy, 1701–8

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Daniel Szechi

This book is about a lost moment in British, and especially Scots, history. It explores in detail the events of 1708. The book uses this as a platform to analyse the dynamics of the Jacobite movement, the English/British government's response to the Jacobites' activities and the way the Jacobites interacted with the French government. Grand historical theses need, however, to be well grounded in the nitty-gritty of human affairs. The book offers a detailed narrative of the execution of the Enterprise of Scotland. It introduces the reader to the operation's climactic moment and at the same time corrects misapprehensions about it that have crept in to the historiography that touches on the operation proper. The book also offers a new interpretation of the role of Queen Mary of Modena as de facto regent and thus director of the movement in the early eighteenth century. It highlights the unusually prominent role played by particular Scots noblewomen, such as Anne Drummond, countess of Erroll, and Elizabeth Howard, duchess of Gordon, in the conspiracy leading to the '08. In a context set by a desperate, epic global war and the angry, febrile politics of early eighteenth-century Scotland, the book contends that Britain was on the cusp of a military and constitutional upheaval.

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Britain’s Korean War

Cold War diplomacy, strategy and security 1950–53

Thomas Hennessey

Coming just five years after the ravages of the Second World War, the Korean war was a deeply unsettling moment in post-war British history. This book is a study of Britain's diplomatic, military and security policy during the Korean War as seen from the perspective of the British Government. It explores the social and cultural impact of the Korean War (1950-53) on Britain. From allegations about American use of 'germ' warfare to anxiety over Communist use of 'brainwashing' and treachery at home, the Korean War precipitated a series of short-lived panics in 1950s Britain. The book charts the war's changing position in British popular imagination and asks how it became known as the 'Forgotten War'. The study presented argues that the British did have influence over American decision-making during the Korean War. Whereas the existing United Nations resolutions would permit 'swirling' across the 38th parallel operations of a politico-military nature would require further United Nations consideration. The British did not have a veto over American strategy in Korea - but under the Truman administration they came pretty close to one with respect to the widening of the war into China. The Attlee-Truman talks, in December 1950, secured for the British the watershed agreement of the right to be consulted on the use of the atomic bomb. The book also talks about General Douglas MacArthur, the 1951 Chinese capture of Seoul by communists, and the concept of a British 'Manchurian Candidate'-type figure indoctrinated by the Chinese in Korea.

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Britain in China

Community, culture and colonialism 1900-1949

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Robert Bickers

The British community in China was rooted in the diverse cultures of imperial Britain. This book presents a study of Britain's presence in China both at its peak, and during its inter-war dissolution in the face of assertive Chinese nationalism and declining British diplomatic support. Using archival materials from China and records in Britain and the United States, the book presents a portrait of the traders, missionaries, businessmen, diplomats and settlers who constituted "Britain-in-China", challenging people's understanding of British imperialism there. Imperialism is no new subject for scholars of modern Chinese history. The largest settler communities were selfgoverning; even the smallest were still self-replicating. The book focuses on the structure and workings of this establishment in the decades before the Pacific War. The survey presented examines the processes by which Britain in China evolved, how it replicated itself and represented itself (and China). It looks at how it attempted to reform itself in the face of the militant state and mass nationalism it met in China in the mid-1920s and after. The survey also looks at the face of the efforts of the British state to regain control over it and to decolonise the British presence. All Britons in China possessed multiple identities: British, imperial and local. The book also analyzes the formation and maintenance of settler identities, and then investigates how the British state and its allies brought an end to the reign of freelance, settler imperialism on the China coast.

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The battle of Britishness

Migrant journeys, 1685 to the present

Tony Kushner

This pioneering study of migrant journeys to Britain begins with Huguenot refugees in the 1680s and continues to asylum seekers and east European workers today. Analysing the history and memory of migrant journeys, covering not only the response of politicians and the public but also literary and artistic representations, then and now, this volume sheds new light on the nature and construction of Britishness from the early modern era onwards. It helps to explain why people come to Britain (or are denied entry) and how migrants have been viewed by state and society alike. The journeys covered vary from the famous (including the Empire Windrush in 1948) to the obscure, such as the Volga German transmigrants passing through Britain in the 1870s. While employing a broadly historical approach, the book incorporates insights from many other disciplines and employs a comparative methodology to highlight the importance of the symbolic as well as the physical nature of such journeys.

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Prisoners of Britain

German civilian and combatant internees during the First World War

Panikos Panayi

This book recognizes three types of internees in First World War Britain. They are: civilians already present in the country in August 1914; civilians brought to Britain from all over the world; and combatants, primarily soldiers from the western front. Soldiers from the western front included naval personnel and a few members of zeppelin crews whose vessels fell to earth. These three groups faced different internment experiences, particularly in terms of the length of time they spent behind barbed wire and their ability to work. Many combatants viewed internment almost as a relief from the fighting they had experienced on the western front, while, for civilians, the spell behind barbed wire represented their key wartime experience. Throughout the narrative, from the first days behind barbed wire until the last, the book recognizes the varying experiences faced by the differing groups of prisoners. Nevertheless, one needs to consider all internees together because they became victims of one of the first mass incarcerations in history. While the prisoner of war has a long history, imprisonment on the scale practised in the First World War, by both Britain and the other belligerent states, of both soldiers and civilians, represents a new phenomenon.

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British Asian fiction

Twenty-first-century voices

Sara Upstone

This text focuses solely on the writing of British writers of South Asian descent born or raised in Britain. Exploring the unique contribution of these writers, it positions their work within debates surrounding black British, diasporic, migrant and postcolonial literature in order to foreground both the continuities and tensions embedded in their relationship to such terms, engaging in particular with the ways in which this ‘new’ generation has been denied the right to a distinctive theoretical framework through absorption into pre-existing frames of reference. Focusing on the diversity of contemporary British Asian experience, the book deals with themes including gender, national and religious identity, the reality of post-9/11 Britain, the post-ethnic self, urban belonging, generational difference and youth identities, as well as indicating how these writers manipulate genre and the novel form in support of their thematic concerns.

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British queer history

New approaches and perspectives

Edited by: Brian Lewis

This book demonstrates a fruitful cross-fertilisation of ideas between British queer history and art history. It engages with self-identified lesbians and with another highly important source for queer history: oral history. The book highlights the international dimension of what to date has been told as a classic British tale of homosexual law reform and also illuminates the choices made and constraints imposed at the national level. It embarks on a queer critical history, arguing for the centrality, in John Everett Millais's life-writing, of the strange-to-us category of unconventionality. The book aims to expose the queer implications of celebrity gossip writing. It offers a historical analysis of the link between homosexual men and gossip by examining the origins of the gossip column in the British tabloid press in the three decades after 1910. The book provides an overview of the emergence and consolidation of a number of new discourses of homosexuality as a social practice in postwar Britain. It explores a British variant on homophile internationalism before and immediately after the 1967 Sexual Offences Act by mapping Grey's cross-border connections while noting strain against transnational solidarity. The book focuses on evidence collected by the 1977 Committee on Obscenity and Film Censorship to illustrate how gay men conceptualised the place of pornography in their lives and its role in the broader struggle for the freedom.

Open Access (free)

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Edited by: Bill Schwarz

Caribbean migration to Britain brought many new things—new music, new foods, new styles. It brought new ways of thinking too. This book explores the intellectual ideas that the West Indians brought with them to Britain. It shows that, for more than a century, West Indians living in Britain developed a dazzling intellectual critique of the codes of Imperial Britain. Chapters discuss the influence of, amongst others, C. L. R. James, Una Marson, George Lamming, Jean Rhys, Claude McKay and V. S. Naipaul. The contributors draw from many different disciplines to bring alive the thought and personalities of the figures they discuss, providing a picture of intellectual developments in Britain from which we can still learn much. The introduction argues that the recovery of this Caribbean past, on the home territory of Britain itself, reveals much about the prospects of multiracial Britain.

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Britain and Africa under Blair

In pursuit of the good state

Julia Gallagher

Africa was a key focus of Britain's foreign policy under Tony Blair. Military intervention in Sierra Leone, increases in aid and debt relief, and grand initiatives such as the Commission for Africa established the continent as a place in which Britain could ‘do good’. This book critically explores Britain's fascination with Africa. It argues that, under New Labour, Africa represented an area of policy which appeared to transcend politics. Gradually, it came to embody an ideal state activity around which politicians, officials and the wider public could coalesce, leaving behind more contentious domestic and international issues. Building on the story of Britain and Africa under Blair, the book draws wider conclusions about the role of ‘good’ and idealism in foreign policy. In particular, it discusses how international relations provide opportunities to create and pursue ideals, and why they are essential for the wellbeing of political communities. The book argues that state actors project the idea of ‘good’ onto idealised, distant objects, in order to restore a sense of the ‘good state’.