War and Social Change in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Study of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States

War and Social Change in the Twentieth Century: A Comparative Study of Britain, France, Germany, Russia and the United States

by Arthur Marwick


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This is the first systematic study of the nature and extent of the social changes brought about in Europe and North America by the major twentieth-century wars.

While recognising the essential uniqueness of historical events, Professor Marwick argues that these changes can be best explained by developing a 'model' which breaks war down into four meaningful components. Throughout the book - and without detriment to the clarity of the narrative of the events themselves - there is discussion of wars as destruction, of the way in which war tests existing institutions, of the manner in which participation in war-time benefits underprivileged groups, and of the psychological repercussions of war.

This study makes no attempt to glorify war of gloss over its horrors. It appraises the reactions of artists and writers and examines such topics as: war and the position of women; war and the black American; war and revolution in Russia and Germany; war and social attitudes, customs and conditions; Hitler's 'New Order'; the French Resistance; and it concludes by analysing the relationship between the Second World War and the movement towards European integration.

The author's thematic approach - together with his use of archive film material - serves as a guide to new methodologies in historical study. The comparative approach illuminates both the manner in which war affects society, and also some of the characteristic differences and similarities in the various societies studied. Through drawing on social science, as well as on art, literature and music, Professor Marwick believes that written history must above all succeed as communication. His present study will be of particular value to students of twentieth-century history, of the history of war and of political sociology.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780333112489
Publisher: Macmillan Education UK
Publication date: 01/01/1974
Edition description: 1974
Pages: 272
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)

About the Author

ARTHUR MARWICK is Professor of History at The Open University; he previously taught at the universities of Edinburgh and Aberdeen and at the State University of New York at Buffalo. His present book advances the important contribution to the study of the social effects of modern war initiated by The Deluge: British Society and th First World War (1965; Macmillan Student Editions, 1973) and continued by Britain in the Century of Total War (1968). His pioneering work in this field has received high praise. His other publications include The Explosion of British Society 1914-1970 (1963; Macmillan Student Editions, 1971) and The Nature of History, an Open University Set Book (1970; Macmillan Student Editions, 1970).

Table of Contents

Preface.- PART 1: THE NATURE OF THE PROBLEM The Disasters of War.- The Causes of War.- The Consequences of War.- Germany, Russia, France, Britain and the United States.- PART 2: THE FIRST WORLD WAR: GERMANY AND RUSSIA The Stages of the War.- Germany's 'Fortress Truce', August 1914-November 1917.- Russia: Disruption of War and Growth of 'Voluntary Organizations', August 1914-March 1917.- Revolutions in Russia and Germany, 1917-19.- PART 3: THE FIRST WORLD WAR: FRANCE, BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES Destruction and Disruption.- The Test of War.- Participation.- Psychological Implications.- General Consequences of the War.- PART 4: THE SECOND WORLD WAR: GERMANY AND RUSSIA Totalitarianism and Democracy on the Eve of the War.- The War and German Society.- Russia and 'The Great Patriotic War'.- The Aftermath of War.- PART 5: THE SECOND WORLD WAR: BRITAIN AND THE UNITED STATES The Impact of the Second World War on British Society.- The War and American Society.- New Relationships.- PART 6: THE SECOND WORLD WAR: FRANCE The Chagrin and the Pity of it.- Social Consequences.- Beauty and the Beast: Economic Recovery and the Idea of a United Europe.- PART 7: PROBLEMS AND CONCLUSIONS Notes on the use of Archive Film Material.- Annotated Bibliography.- Index.

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