Forging the Collective Memory: Goverment and International Historians through Two World Wars

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More About This Textbook


When studying the origins of the First World War, scholars have relied heavily on the series of key diplomatic documents published by the governments of both the defeated and the victorious powers in the 1920s and 1930s. However, this volume shows that these volumes, rather than dealing objectively with the past, were used by the different governments to project an interpretation of the origins of the Great War that was more palatable to them and their country than the truth might have been. In revealing policies that influenced the publication of the documents, the relationships between the commissioning governments, their officials, and the historians involved, this collection serves as a warning that even seemingly objective sources have to be used with caution in historical research.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781571819284
  • Publisher: Berghahn Books, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 6/1/1996
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 306
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.64 (d)

Table of Contents

Introduction: Governments, Historians, and 'Historical Engineering' 1
1 The Historical Diplomacy of the Third Republic 29
2 The Unfinished Collection: Russian Documents on the Origins of the First World War 63
3 Clio Deceived: Patriotic Self-Censorship in Germany After the Great War 87
4 Senator Owen, the Schuldreferat, and the Debate over War Guilt in the 1920s 128
5 History As Propaganda: The German Foreign Ministry and the 'Enlightenment' of American Historians on the War-Guilt Question, 1930-1933 151
6 Austria and the Great War: Official Publications in the 1920s and 1930s 178
7 The Pursuit of 'Enlightened Patriotism': The British Foreign Office and Historical Researchers During the Great War and Its Aftermath 192
8 The Imbalance in British Documents on the Origins of the War, 1898-1914: Gooch, Temperley, and the India Office 230
9 Telling the Truth to the People: Britain's Decision to Publish the Diplomatic Papers of the Interwar Period 265
Appendix Harold Wilson and the Adoption of the Thirty-Year Rule in Great Britain 289
Notes on Contributors 294
Index 295
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