The Unquiet Western Front

The Unquiet Western Front : Britain's Role in Literature and History

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Britain's outstanding military achievement in the First World War has been eclipsed by literary myths. Why has the Army's role on the Western Front been so seriously misrepresented? This 2002 book shows how myths have become deeply rooted, particularly in the inter-war period, in the 1960s, and in the 1990s. The outstanding 'anti-war' influences have been 'war poets', subalterns' trench memoirs, the book and film of All Quiet on the Western Front, and the play Journey's End. For a new generation in the 1960s the play and film of Oh What a Lovely War had a dramatic effect, while more recently Blackadder has been dominant. Until more recently, historians had either reinforced the myths, or had failed to counter them. This book follows the intense controversy from 1918 to the present, and concludes that historians are at last permitting the First World War to be placed in proper more

Product details

  • Paperback | 140 pages
  • 152 x 224 x 16mm | 240.4g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0521036410
  • 9780521036412
  • 1,726,031

Review quote

'... much needed ... Professor Brian Bond makes a thought-provoking bid to claw the First World War back to history, away from popular myth ... Brian Bond's arresting, sensible book, concentrating in 100-odd lucid pages the historical evidence against the myth, is a gift to teachers and a welcome antidote to the distorted popular image of the first world war. It may be long before historians win their battle, but The Unquiet Western Front shows where the lines should be drawn.' The Spectator 'The Unquiet Western Front ... is an effective history of changing social attitudes in twentieth- century Britain.' Writer's News 'The lectures must have been entertaining. The book version is eminently readable and always stimulating.' The Times Literary Supplement 'Anyone who wants to reflect about the Great War and its role in shaping modern British thinking about war must read [this].' History Today '... an important critique of the anti-war culture that is so influential in framing popular suppositions today.' Royal United Services Institute Journal '... the subtlety and persuasiveness of his argument and the richness and range of his supporting material is impossible to condense ... No one interested in the history of 1914-1918 can afford not to read and ponder this book. It opens windows into so many more places than its title might suggest.' The Society for Army Historical Research Journal '... a well documented and carefully considered attack on the treatment of the First World War by the literary world and the populist media ...' The Salisbury Review 'The Unquiet Western Front is a concisely compelling defence of the British war effort ... [it] is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand scholarship on the Great War as we approach the ninetieth anniversary of the war's outbreak.' BBC History Magazine '... useful and provocative ...' Cultural and Social Historyshow more

About Brian Bond

Brian Bond is Emeritus Professor of Military History, King's College London. One of Britain's leading military historians, he has been President of the British Commission for Military History since more

Table of contents

Preface and acknowledgements; 1. The necessary war, 1914-18; 2. Goodbye to all that, 1919-33; 3. Donkeys and Flanders mud: the war rediscovered in the 1960s; 4. Thinking the unthinkable: the first world war as history; Sir Lees Knowles (1857-1928); The Lees Knowles lectures; Notes; Select bibliography; more

Rating details

8 ratings
3.62 out of 5 stars
5 38% (3)
4 12% (1)
3 25% (2)
2 25% (2)
1 0% (0)
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