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Humanitarian Ideals between the Wars

(Re)Constructing Switzerland through Travel Writing

Sara Steinert Borella

Swiss authors and travelers Ella Maillart and Annemarie Schwarzenbach set off to drive from Switzerland to Afghanistan in a Ford roadster in late 1939, shortly before the outbreak of World War II. Their subsequent texts reveal as much about cultural norms prevalent in Switzerland in the late 1930s as they do about the actual journey to Afghanistan. This article explores Ella Maillart's The Cruel Way (1947) and Annemarie Schwarzenbach's All the Roads Are Open (2011) as constructions of the humanitarian principles that the Swiss have come to call their own. Both travel narratives call into question the national value of neutrality while echoing the language of emerging political and legal human rights discourses. The travel narratives of Maillart and Schwarzenbach thus contribute to the development of a literary discourse of human rights that will later become the standard narrative for Switzerland during and following World War II.

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Wally Cleaver Goes to War

The Boy Citizen-Solider on the Cold War Screen

Ann Kordas

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.

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Brian Orend

Dr Moellendorf’s book is a tightly argued, wide-ranging, well-written piece that is challenging, important and enjoyable. It is a sustained and reasonably comprehensive meditation upon global justice that is more thorough and more readable than the vast majority of comparable works. Truly it is a must for any one who takes global justice seriously. For my remarks, I wish to concentrate on his thoughts regarding justified wars and widespread institutional design at the cosmopolitan level.

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A War Like Any Other . . . Or Nobler?

The Great War in the EC Comics

Jean-Matthieu Méon

The U.S. publisher EC Comics produced several war comics between 1950 and 1955. These comic books, especially the issues published during Harvey Kurtzman's editorship, are still considered masterpieces, as rare examples of war comics attempting to present an unvarnished account of the ordeals of war. This article focuses on the treatment of the Great War in comics. While current stories about the First World War usually underline its inhuman realities for the soldiers, the EC stories offered a more ambivalent representation. The now traditional stories of trenches and suffering infantry soldiers were counterbalanced by stories of heroic air fights and chivalrous aces. This approach towards the First World War as a 'noble war' progressively increased during the run of these comics, refl ecting the shifting balance that characterised the production of EC war comics: that between the constraints of the market, artistic ambition and the popular cultural mythology of air aces.

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Narrating the Second World War

History Textbooks and Nation Building in Belarus, Russia, and Ukraine

Lina Klymenko

This article explores the theoretical understanding of the relation between school history textbooks and the state-led construction of national identity. It does this by conceptualizing a history textbook as an assembly of historical narratives that provide young readers with an opportunity to identify with the national community in which they live. By focusing on narrative techniques, including plot, concepts of time and space, and the categorization of characters as in- and out-groups, this article shows how narratives of the Second World War in Belarusian, Russian, and Ukrainian textbooks contribute to nation-building.

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War Memories and Online Encyclopedias

Framing 30 June 1941 in Wikipedia

Mykola Makhortykh

This article examines how digital media interact with collective memories and teaching practices by exploring a selection of Wikipedia articles that describe the capture of Lviv by the Germans on 30 June 1941. This event constitutes an important episode in the history of Ukraine and a complex case of violence that produced several controversies concerning the national historiographies of the Second World War in the post-Soviet region. Using a combination of qualitative and quantitative metrics, this article investigates how the event is represented in different language versions of Wikipedia and assesses what kind of memory is produced by each of them.

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Scientists in Time of War

World War II, the Cold War, and Science in the United States and France

Dominique Pestre

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.

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Lesley Gill

Debates about the relationship of anthropology to the U.S. national security establishment are not new, and anthropologists are now forced to confront the issue again. Since the 11 September attacks, the U.S. military has stepped up efforts to recruit anthropologists to fight the so-called "war on terror," and a group of self-identified "security anthropologists" have organized for more recognition and legitimation within the American Anthropological Association. The article considers what is new about the current controversy, and it examines the issues at stake for anthropologists and the people who they study. It argues that anthropologists need to raise anew basic questions about their disciplinary and intellectual endeavors and that they must re-educate themselves on the realities of power.

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A Holy War and Revenge for Kishinev

Austrian Rabbis Justify the First World War

Marsha L. Rozenblit

During the First World War Austrian rabbis played a major role in constructing a meaningful justification for the war that enabled both soldiers and those on the home front to endure the bloody conflict. Because Austria's main enemy in the first two years of the war was Russia, the 'evil empire' that persecuted its Jews, Austrian Jews, and rabbis in particular, saw the war as a just and holy war to liberate the Jews of Austrian Galicia, occupied by the Russian army at the beginning of the war, and also those of Russia itself. The war thus was a war of revenge for Kishinev; that is, for the pogroms in Russia. Such a definition of the war meant that Jews could fight both as loyal, patriotic citizens of Austria and also for a specific Jewish cause at the same time. In their sermons and writings, rabbis cogently expressed this wartime ideology, which persisted even after the Central Powers defeated Russia. Then rabbis, indeed Jewish spokesmen in general, understood the war in terms of guaranteeing the survival of the Habsburg Monarchy which protected the Jews from anti-Semitism and the dangers of nationalism.

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Tom Rockmore

Now that the war in Iraq is over, or at least mainly finished, we can ask ourselves if it already has, or is likely later to meet its announced aims. It will be useful to introduce a distinction between reasons, which can be cited for the war, and its goals, which naturally tend to follow from announced (and unannounced) justifications for this conflict.