A Call to Arms: Propaganda, Public Opinion, and Newspapers in the Great War

Overview

World War I highlighted the influence of newspapers in rousing and maintaining public support for the war effort. Discussions of the role of the press in the Great War have, to date, largely focused on atrocity stories. This book offers the first comparative analysis of how newspapers in Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary attempted to define war, its objectives, and the enemy. Presented country-by-country, expert essays examine, through use of translated articles from the contemporary ...

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Overview

World War I highlighted the influence of newspapers in rousing and maintaining public support for the war effort. Discussions of the role of the press in the Great War have, to date, largely focused on atrocity stories. This book offers the first comparative analysis of how newspapers in Great Britain, France, Russia, Germany, and Austria-Hungary attempted to define war, its objectives, and the enemy. Presented country-by-country, expert essays examine, through use of translated articles from the contemporary press, how newspapers of different nations defined the war for their readership and the ideals they used to justify a war and support governments that some segments of the press had opposed just a few months earlier.

During the opening months of the war, governments attempted to influence public opinion functioned in a largely negative fashion, for example, the censoring of military information or criticisms of government policies. There was little effort to provide a positive message to sway readers. As a result, newspapers had a relatively free hand in justifying the war and the reasons for their respective nation's involvement. Partisan politics was a staple of the pre-war press; thus, newspapers could and did define the war in terms that reflected their own political ideals and agenda. Conservative, liberal, and socialist newspapers all largely supported the war the ones that did not were shut down immediately, but they did so for different reasons and hoped for different outcomes if their side was victorious.

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Product Details

Meet the Author

TROY R. E. PADDOCK is Assistant Professor of History at Southern Connecticut State University where he teaches modern German and European history. His research interests are in Imperial and Weimar German cultural and intellectual history and historiography.

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Table of Contents

Introduction: Newspapers, Public Opinion and Propaganda

A Clash of Cultures: The British Press and the Opening of the Great War by Adrian Gregory

"The Eagle Soars Over the Nightingale:" Press and Propaganda in France in the Opening Months of the Great War by Michael Nolan

The Russian Press and the 'Internal Peace' at the Beginning of World War I by Eric Lohr

German Propaganda: The Limits of Gerechtigkeit by Troy R.E. Paddock

The Empire Without Qualities: Austro-Hungarian Newspapers and the Outbreak of War in 1914 by Andrea Orzoff

Closing Observations on Newspapers, Propaganda and the Great War

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