The Changing History of the First World War

Trudell, Megan

Publisher:  International Socialism
Date Written:  26/06/2014
Year Published:  2014  
Resource Type:  Article
Cx Number:  CX16521

The war the Tories and their favourite historians would like to spin is one where nationalism was triumphant and where workers and soldiers did their duty for their country. For other historians, the war is a patchwork of fragmented experiences and stories with no “grand” explanation. A truly historical materialist understanding of the war must be able to encompass and learn from the detail—whether of battles or strikes, psychological trauma or the assassination of royalty—and weave it into a world in which the development of capitalism brought about the bleakest and most horrifying catastrophe. And it must be able to explain how the material experience of that catastrophe drove millions to question and to revolt and to present the system as a whole with the most profound threat of its existence.

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