According to both common wisdom and long-standing tradition, the ideal of peace is central to the morality of war. I argue that this notion is mistaken, not because peace is unachievable and utopian, though it might be for many of today's asymmetrical conflicts; nor because the pursuit of peace is counterproductive, though, again, it might be for many of today's conflicts; the problem, rather, is that the pursuit of peace is not a proper objective of war.
Jeppe von Platz
Seth B. Scott
American history textbooks, for the better part of the twentieth century, have focused on war as the primary actor. This article investigates the pervasiveness of war in textbooks and considers the e ect of such on students and their role as future policymakers. In the past decade, history textbooks have undergone a total transition toward an emphasis on social history. An examination of what this entails, and what impacts this may have on schoolchildren and society as a whole, lends insight into the e ects the study of history can have. Finally, I argue that a historian must not only choose events that illustrate the past, but also determine how those choices may a ect the future.
World War II, the Cold War, and Science in the United States and France
Before addressing its central concern—the convergence of science, war, institutions, and politics in the postwar period in France and the United States—, this essay evokes how scientific knowledge had been of importance to warfare and economic elites in the preceding centuries. In the 1940s and 1950s, scientific activities were profoundly redefined. A culture of laboratory solutions, of calculus, and management won the day. For the scientists, that meant versatility and a willingness to work between disciplines and métiers and to confront the nation's main concerns. It also led to increasingly technocratic versions of politics. Due to science, the state became a managerial apparatus, a "modernizer" arbitrating among different scenarios. Contrary to what happened in the United States, science was not center stage in France in the 1940s and early 1950s. The habitus of scientists was that of the prewar period, and they were still not technique-oriented. They had a more cultural definition of their trade and were not opportunists whose aim was to become pragmatically efficient in the world of business and military action. From the mid-1950s, things started to evolve due to a strong economic recovery and because French scientists had now caught up with the latest developments. The final break, however, occurred in France only when de Gaulle abandoned the Algerian war and elected for an autonomous nuclear deterrence system. By putting la stratégie de l'arsenal at the core of national development, de Gaulle significantly transformed French science, society, industry, and the military.
The Boy Citizen-Solider on the Cold War Screen
This paper examines the ways in which instructional films, television shows, and television commercials both depicted and sought to construct the experience of American boyhood in the decades immediately following World War II. During the Cold War, many American adults feared that boys lacked the “masculine” qualities required by future defenders of the United States. Believing that boys needed additional instruction in appropriate gender behavior, educators turned to a new film genre: the classroom instructional film. Films in this genre emphasized the importance of patriotism, respect for order and authority, and the need for emotional and physical discipline in American males. Television shows and toy commercials also encouraged boys to envision themselves as future soldiers and defenders of freedom.
Challenging Gender Bias at Culloden Battle eld Visitor Centre
When live interpretation of women was first introduced at Culloden Battlefield Visitor Centre, it received little visitor interest and mixed reactions despite the key roles that women played during the 1745 Jacobite Rising. Consequent experiences with changes to the interpretation suggest that visitors' prior identification of wars with men makes them regard women's interpretation as irrelevant to the war story they came to learn. It appears that interpretation that mixes the stories of men and women can ensure visitors' engagement with interpretation of women at war while at the same time enhancing visitors' ability to personally connect with the interpretive content overall.
The Case of Hanka Ordonówna
This article analyses the performances of the Polish cabaret singer-cum-movie star, Hanka Ordonówna/Ordonka, during the Second World War, and subsequent representations of her through physical monuments and biographical treatments in print and on film. It locates Ordonka in the context of female performers entertaining the troops, the lone woman on the front socially approved for her tasteful display of a morale-boosting sexuality before an audience of largely male combatants. ‘War, Women and Song’ argues for Ordonka’s exceptional case due to her popular pre-war celebrity and her own war time experience, when she shared or witnessed her compatriots’ tragic fate of occupation, deportation, mass death and, in many cases, permanent exile. In her war work, Ordonka doubly incarnated for her audiences a lost pre-war culture of urbane sophistication and eroticised charm and a war time victim turned conventional national heroine when she spearheaded a rescue mission of five hundred Polish children orphaned by Soviet atrocities. Ordonka came to represent to her nation both an irresistible lover and an exemplary surrogate parent with the qualities of a self- sacrificing matka polka (Polish mother).
How the Komsomol Archive Enriched My Understanding of Gender in Soviet War Culture
Adrienne M. Harris
In this article, I detail how archival finds helped me develop questions on World War II martyr heroes and their role in Soviet culture and Russian collective memory. I consider how one might approach silences, read discrepancies in archival holdings, and extrapolate meaning from various kinds of documents. Considering that the Russian State Archive of Sociopolitical History Komsomol archive allows one to study the evolution of gender via the continuous reshaping of feminine and masculine ideals for Soviet youth, I discuss how the archive might open up new research areas and prompt additional questions for gender historians, and lead one to reconsider power and authority in the Soviet past.
Relative Painlessness in Shakespeare’s Laughter at War
How do we understand Shakespeare’s invitation to laugh in the context of war? Previous critical accounts have offered too simple a view: that laughter undercuts military ideals. Instead, this article draws on the Aristotelian description of laughable ‘deformity’ and Plato’s description of laughable ignorance in order to characterize Shakespeare’s laughter in the context of war more carefully as an expression of ‘relative painlessness’. It discusses how the fraught amusement of Coriolanus (Coriolanus), the reciprocality of Falstaff and Hotspur as laughable military failures (1 Henry IV) and the laughter of Bertram at Paroles (All’s Well That Ends Well) each engage with an ancient philosophical conundrum articulated poignantly by St. Augustine: the requirement that a Christian civilization engage in war to defend itself against honour-obsessed aggressors without turning into a like aggressor itself. Shakespeare’s laughter at war enacts the desire for that balance.
The Fox Movietone Scandal and the Portrayal of French Violence in Algeria, 1955-1956
During the Algerian War, films and published photographs documenting brutalities committed by French forces were exceedingly rare, due to censorship and strict controls on journalistic access to the military. However, a dramatic exception to this state of affairs came at an early moment in the war, after a Fox Movietone cameraman captured footage of a French gendarme as he summarily executed an Algerian with a bullet in the back. When the journal L'Express printed frames from the film in December 1955, a scandal ensued that implicated the sitting government in Paris and stoked French anti-Americanism. This article explores the reasons for the scandal, its anatomy, and its longer-term implications for French representations of the violence of the Algerian conflict. It argues that widespread French assumptions about the appropriateness of France's role in Algeria ultimately served to neutralize the story told by the images, even as they were recognized as incontrovertible evidence of atrocity.
Anthropology, Peasants and 'Community Development'
Eric B. Ross
This article examines how anthropology's emphasis on the traditional values of peasants reflected the general precepts of 'modernization theory', the dominant development discourse of the Cold War era. It explores how such ideas lent credibility to the U.S. strategy of 'community development' as a central part of its response to radical rural change. Special attention is paid to the Cornell-Peru Project at Vicos in the Peruvian highlands, which attained legendary status as a case of applied anthropology, but is here examined in relationship to the strategies of the U.S. power elite and Cold War government policies.