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From the Publisher
"This is a pathbreaking study, filling a major gap in our understanding of the way the wounds of war were inscribed on women's lives for decades after the Great War. Essential reading for all those drawn in increasing numbers to the Ur-catastrophe of the 20th century." -Jay Winter,Yale University
"In this insightful and well-researched study, Erika Kuhlman refocuses our analytical gaze at the Great War through the lens of widows’ views and experiences and by examining how nation-states attempted to use widows to militarize and nationalize the war and postwar years. Widows found empty promises, insufficient support and a less-than reciprocal citizenship from nations eager to cast them as symbols of national sacrifice and proper womanhood. Some cooperated with national plans but others challenged state-sponsored programs and definitions of their womanhood and citizenship. Some transcended the boundaries of the nation-state by identifying with other women as widows through transnational identities and activism. A particular strength of Kuhlman’s work is her comparative analysis of widowhood and the Great War across national experiences and her identification of the ways that widowhood became a catalyst for some women to challenge nationalism and militarism, a process that continues today."-Kimberly Jensen,Western Oregon University
"Moving seamlessly from comparative history to transnational history, this book offers a new model of scholarly analysis. It demonstrates the vitality of the new transnational movement in historical studies and shows why women’s history is in the vanguard of that movement."
-Kathryn Kish Sklar,Distinguished Professor of History, State University of New York, Binghamton
"Eminently readable, Of Little Comfort is sure to become a standard text in university classes dealing with the Great War and military history, women's studies, and 20th century history."-Herbert White,History in Review
"Kuhlman uses letters, diaries, popular magazine articles, and correspondence between widows and their governments in the United States and Germany to examine the ways war widows coped with their roles after World War I... The book takes a deep look at the opinions of widows themselves, through their own words, and puts those experiences and struggles into the context of national efforts to define the war for both vanquished and victorious countries, such as using ceremonial mourning for soldiers and the plight of war widows to reinforce their national identity."-Washington State Magazine,