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"To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914 - 1918" with Adam Hochschild
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Adam Hochschild. Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt , This specific ISBN edition is currently not available. View all copies of this ISBN edition:. Synopsis About this title "This is the kind of investigatory history Hochschild pulls off like no one else. Q: Were there war resisters on both sides? Q: So the book is just about them? Q: Are all of your characters well-known? Q: What were your sources of information? Buy New Learn more about this copy.
Other Popular Editions of the Same Title. But this is not a story in which the rebels carry the day, and so To End All Wars does not have the Whiggish uplift that buoyed Hochschild's earlier studies—whatever the obvious brutality associated with their subjects. The Great War presents supreme narrative challenges for any historian. It marked a dramatic break with the Victorian age and with the delicate if bloody balance-of-power accords that guided its vision of European diplomacy, but there's no persuasive single-bullet account of the conflict's origins.
That's why, for example, the provocative British historian A. Taylor was moved in exasperation to blame the whole thing on railway timetables. Hochschild's account largely sidesteps questions of causation to highlight the way the war itself caused many of the signature ills of the modern age. Of course, there is no such magic at hand, so Hochschild can do little beyond taking readers through the well-worn saga of the damage the Great War wrought on the modern temper.
In doing so, he delivers up a litany of utterly conventional judgments: The conflict was horrifically bad; callous, inept generals doomed brave troops to needless slaughter; the Allies bungled the peace, paving the way for even greater horrors. World War I British enlistment poster, To End All Wars is not a comprehensive account of the fighting.
Book Review: ‘To End All Wars’
Rather, Hochschild zeros in on the British experience. Moving from the western front to the home front, he counterposes two story lines that highlight "clashing sets of dreams"—one about those who opposed the war, the other about the warriors and politicians who carried it out. Hochschild's freshest sections detail the many prominent antiwar Britons, among them the philosopher Bertrand Russell; Keir Hardie, miner-turned-MP and a founder of the British Labour Party; and the suffragette firebrand and devoted woman of the left Sylvia Pankhurst.
But Hochschild also tells the story of several average men who refused to fight—some twenty thousand British conscripts declined to mobilize for battle, and more than six thousand of this number served harsh terms in jail. The victories of British war resisters proved distinctly quixotic and short-lived. The war was a disaster for leaders of the socialist movement and the Second International: Working-class internationalism proved to have virtually no mass appeal once hostilities set in among Europe's great powers.
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- To End All Wars by Adam Hochschild – review | Books | The Guardian;
Many British unions came out in favor of the war, a propaganda coup for the government. The suffragettes became bitterly divided.
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