Blood of Our Sons: Men, Women, and the Renegotiation of British Citizenship During the Great War

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Winner of the 2003 North American Conference on British Studies Annual Book Prize!

This path-breaking study brings together feminist and political history in innovative and refreshing ways, examining the complex relationship between war, gender, and citizenship in Great Britain during World War I. Nicoletta F. Gullace shows how the assault on civilian masculinity contributed to women’s suffrage. Feminists organizations tapped into nationalist feelings to open doors for their demands, taking advantage of a public culture that celebrated military service while denigrating those who opposed the war. Drawing on a vast range of popular and official sources, Gullace reveals that the war had revolutionary implications for women who wished to vote and for men who were expected to fight.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"This book brings feminist history and political history together in new and refreshing ways. Votes for women came during the war and because of the war: here is a major revision of current scholarship and a vibrant and important interpretation of political rights as negotiated rights. When male conscientious objectors refused to serve their country in uniform, at the same time as one million women took up the tools of war-related production, the debate over the vote for both men and women was transformed. We should be grateful to Gullace for her reminder that contingency matters, and that cultural history is political history written from a new and exciting perspective. Here is a striking kind of history likely to set the pattern for research in this field in coming years."--Jay Winter, Professor of History, Yale University

"A rich and original study of the remarkable transformation of the meanings of citizenship in Britain in the course of the First World War. Nicoletta Gullace shows in vivid and convincing detail how the images of men and women were refashioned in the crucible of total war. The book is a major contribution to the history of both gender relations and nation building."--John Gillis, Professor of History, Rutgers University

"The Blood of Our Sons provides a new and original argument about a long-established problem in British history – the granting of women’s suffrage after the First World War--and her version is a tonic."--Susan Kent, Professor of History and Women's Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder

"Gullace offers a very fresh look at the extremely important historical subject of the British experience of World War I."--Angela Woollacott, Case Western University

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781403967107
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 9/28/2004
  • Pages: 308
  • Sales rank: 1,514,407
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.69 (d)

Meet the Author

Nicoletta Gullace is Associate Professor of History at the University of New Hampshire, where she teaches history and international affairs. She received her Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley.

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Table of Contents

Introduction * Part I : Propaganda and the Public Mind
The Rape of Belgium and Wartime Imagination
• The Making of Tommy Atkins: Masculinity, Propaganda and the Triumph of Family Values
• Redrawing the Boundaries of the Private Sphere: Patriotic Motherhood and the Raising of Kitchener’s Armies
Part II: Shaming Rituals and Sexual Identity
The Order of the White Feather
• Conscription, Conscience, and the Travails of Male Citizenship
• Reinventing Womanhood: Suffragettes and the Great War for Citizenship * Part III: The Cultural Construction of Law
The Power of Sacrifice: "Physical Force" and Women’s Work
• Votes for Whom?: The Ideological Origins of the Representation of the People Bill

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