Peter J. Bowler. Science for All: The Popularization of Science in Early Twentieth-Century Britain. Chicago and London: Chicago University Press, 2009. How and what the public learned about science was important in an age of technological warfare, and this has a decent number of entries in the index under 'military applications of science'.

Tom Buchanan. The Impact of the Spanish Civil War on Britain: War, Loss and Memory. Brighton and Portland: Sussex Academic Press, 2007. A collection of essays by Buchanan, including a couple on George Steer (of Guernica fame) and John Langdon-Davies (of Barcelona less-fame).

Marion Girard. A Strange and Formidable Weapon: British Responses to World War I Poison Gas. Lincoln and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2008. Covers both military and civilian responses to gas, and the final chapter looks at the public debate about gas between the wars. Wish I'd had this a year ago!

Peter Sloterdijk. Terror from the Air. Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 2009. Sloterdijk -- not a historian, but an intellectual -- argues that the 20th century started on 22 April 1915 at Ypres, i.e. because of the use of poison gas. Trivia: this is the first book I've ever bought which was published in Los Angeles.

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3 thoughts on “Acquisitions

  1. I'd be interested to hear what you think of the Bowler - he came to CHSTM to give a talk based on some of the materials he looked at for the book, I'd like to know what the finished article was like.

  2. So the 20th C was gassed into existence in 1915, instead of being assassinated into existence on the 2nd of June 1914? Interesting idea.

    I've actually started to see more references to "the short 20th Century", to go along with "the long 19th C" that's more common. A start date of 1915 is new, though.

    (Just an interested amateur historian and regular reader...)

  3. Post author


    Judging the book by its cover and some of the pages inside, it looks pretty good!


    I'm not sure how seriously Sloterdijk is in claiming that as the date for the start of a short 20th century (also: when does it end? Not at least until 2003, since poison gas AKA WMD was used to justify the invasion of Iraq), but yes, it could be interesting if done right.

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