It's now a year since my article 'The air panic of 1935: the British press between disarmament and rearmament' was published in the Journal of Contemporary History. As noted noted previously, as it was with SAGE this means I can now self-archive the accepted version (i.e. which has passed peer review).
This is the abstract:
The British fear of bombing in the early 20th century has aptly been termed 'the shadow of the bomber'. But the processes by which the public learned about the danger of bombing are poorly understood. This paper proposes that the press was the primary source of information about the threat, and examines a formative period in the evolution of public concern about airpower, the so-called air panic of 1935, during which German rearmament was revealed and large-scale RAF expansion undertaken in response. A proposed air pact between the Locarno powers enabled a shift from support of disarmament to rearmament by newspapers on the right, while simultaneously supporting collective security. Paradoxically, after initially supporting the air pact, the left-wing press and its readers began to have doubts, for the same reason: the need to support collective security. This episode sheds new light on early rearmament, and how the government was able to undertake it, despite the widespread feelings in the electorate in favour of disarmament.
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