It's been way too hot this week to blog, whatever energy I could muster I put towards that thesis thing. Instead, there's this:

David Edgerton. Warfare State: Britain, 1920-1970. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006. Expands upon the suggestion put forward in England and the Aeroplane that the fabled British welfare state is more aptly described as a warfare state. DID YOU KNOW: Monty Python's Ministry of Silly Walks sketch is a take-off of Concorde and the Ministry of Technology (p. 264)? Well, you're clever then aren't you.

J.M. Spaight. Aircraft in War. London: Macmillan and Co., 1914. This is a look at the legal do's and do-not-do's of air warfare, as things stood just before the Great War (the book evidently went to press in June 1914). The first of many books on airpower by Spaight.

Dan Todman. The Great War: Myth and Memory. London and New York: Hambledon and London, 2005. Written by Mr Trench Fever himself, this looks like a lot of fun - I am looking forward to reading it. But why is my copy called The Great War when the publishers and the booksellers, claim it's called The First World War? Weird.

C.C. Turner. Britain's Air Peril: The Danger of Neglect, Together with Considerations on the Role of an Air Force. London: Sir Isaac Pitman & Sons, 1933. Major Turner was pro-disarmament - as long as that meant the army and navy only, for he thought the RAF could subsititute for them to a large degree. Otherwise, he was against it, and thought the disarmament process was dangerous for Britain. Lucky Hitler came along then!

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6 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. No blogging for a bit whilst I'm in undergraduate application hell. But I've also been reading Edgerton. It's interesting, but I wonder whether (despite assertions to the contrary) he's set up some straw men (ie pointing out that Britain was militarily stronger than most people think in the 1930s without discussing the way that diplomacy/the world/commitments had shifted so that many policy makers _perceived_ her to be weak). Useful and provocative, which I think is what he wanted it to be.
    I _always_ wanted it to be called The Great War: Myth and Memory, partly at least because I wanted people to make the link with Fussell (aim high, Dan). The publishers advertised it in the pre-publication stuff as The First World War etc. They then realised that The Great War was a better title, so that's what it became. BUT they haven't bothered updating the website, so everybody else has followed suit. This has, of course, led to some confusion and to not enough copies being sold. I could be angry and frustrated about this if I had the time.

  2. Brett Holman

    Post author

    I thought the warfare state idea was very interesting after reading England and the Aeroplane, but wasn't entirely convinced, so I am glad he's expanded upon it. I think it would benefit from considering the pre-WWI period - I would have thought that if there was a warfare state it would have started with the Navy and associated industries/political lobbies/cultural support long before 1920. But I shall reserve judgement until I have read it more throroughly!

    Re your book, I was going to say I thought The Great War was a better title! Not least because the very name given to the war is suggestive of the "myth and memory" processes going on (though I suppose "The First World War" is evocative too, just evoking different associations). Sorry to hear that the stuff-up has hurt sales, I hope they pick up!

  3. Chris Williams

    Just as long as there's lots of copies of _The Great War_ in Queen Mary's library so my summer school can read it in July.

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