For Class and Country

We are delighted to announce the publication of steering committee member David Swift’s first book, For Class and Country: The Patriotic Left and the First World War with Liverpool University Press.

About the book: The First World War has often suffered from comparison to the Second, in terms of both public interest and the significance ascribed to it by scholars in the shaping of modern Britain. This is especially so for the relationship between the Left and these two wars. For the Left, the Second World War can be seen as a time of triumph: a united stand against fascism followed by a landslide election win and a radical, reforming Labour government. The First World War is more complex. Given the gratuitous cost in lives, the failure of a ‘fit country for heroes to live in’ to materialise, the deep recessions and unemployment of the inter-war years, and the botched peace settlements which served only to precipitate another war, the Left has tended to view the conflict as an unmitigated disaster and unpardonable waste. This has led to a tendency on the Left to see the later conflict as the ‘good’ war, fought against an obvious evil, and the earlier conflict as an imperialist blunder; the result of backroom scheming, secret pacts and a thirst for colonies. This book hopes to move away from a concentration on machinations at the elite levels of the labour movement, on events inside Parliament and intellectual developments; there is a focus on less well-visited material.

You can learn more about this book, and purchase a copy, via the Liverpool University Press website. Congratulations to David!

Launching the FWWNetwork

Following our highly successful conference in February 2016, the steering committee behind FWWNetwork has been hard at work developing our plans to expand our small group into a national and international network for postgraduates and early career researchers with an interest in the study of the First World War. In January 2017, we were successful in our bid to secure funding to follow our aims, and we are delighted to announce that FWWNetwork will be working in partnership with the five existing AHRC First World War Engagement Centres to deliver networking opportunities and training workshops, provide funding to support collaborative research projects, and to organise an international conference on the centenary of the First World War in 2019.

FWWNetwork will formally launch at the What Tommy Did Next … Veterans’ Organisations of the First World War conference in Edinburgh, Saturday 18 March 2017. The conference website is: http://www.what-tommy-did-next.org.uk/

We would love to see as many postgraduates and early career researchers as possible at our launch event, and be delighted to hear your ideas and thoughts about what the network can do to develop and promote the study of the First World War both within and outside the academy. There will be plenty of opportunities on the day to hear from the steering committee, join up, and add your voice to what we expect to be a lively, diverse, and rewarding community of like-minded researchers from across the disciplinary spectrum.

For those of you unable to make it to Edinburgh, please follow us on Twitter @FwwNetwork, where we will continue to update you on the progress of the launch and the latest information regarding the network.

See you all very soon!