Going to War: British Debates from Wilberforce to Blair

Going to War: British Debates from Wilberforce to Blair

by P. Towle


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Going to War: British Debates from Wilberforce to Blair by P. Towle

Britain has a culture which encourages interference overseas. It has been involved in more wars than most countries and been the home of many NGOs. Going to War looks at how pressure groups, religious bodies, armchair strategists, science fiction writers, military officers, commentators and journalists have tried to influence public opinion, governments and Parliament to restrain or encourage overseas intervention. It shows how the old idea that the great majority were simple-minded enthusiasts for foreign incursions has been discredited by pollsters, and concludes with an analysis of Britain's involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan, suggesting ways in which the governmental system could be modified both to reflect public opinion and to give greater opportunity for widespread discussion in future.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780230237933
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan UK
Publication date: 04/30/2009
Edition description: 2009
Pages: 227
Product dimensions: 5.40(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)

About the Author

PHILIP TOWLE has worked for the Australian National University in Canberra and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He has taught in the Centre of International Studies at Cambridge University, UK since 1980 and was previously its Director. This is his twelfth book on International History and Security.

Table of Contents

Preface viii

Abbreviations ix

Introduction 1

1 Culture and Circumstance 11

2 The Anglican Church and War 24

3 Civil Society 40

4 The Media and War 56

5 War and Literature 68

6 The Rise of the Armchair Strategists 80

7 The Professional Military 102

8 Parliament and War 116

9 The Public Debate 132

10 Iraq and Afghanistan 142

11 Do Debates on War Matter? 156

Notes 166

Chronology 194

Selected Biographies 198

Bibliography 207

Index 222

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