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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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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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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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Kenneth Bo Nielsen

India’s current “land wars” ( Levien 2013 ). State-led land transfers from rural communities to private corporations for industrial or other purposes have, over the past decade, emerged as a key feature of the capital-driven development model pursued in

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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.

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Rethinking France’s “Memory Wars”

Harki Collective Memories, 2003–2010

Laura Jeanne Sims

lingering colonial tensions in French society, 4 but also appeared to exacerbate and reinforce them. 5 To make sense of the current state of colonial memory, some scholars have employed the paradigm of “memory wars.” 6 This conceptual framework was first

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The Cold War in Swiss Classrooms

History Education as a “Powerful Weapon against Communism“?

Nadine Ritzer

The Cold War had a variety of impacts on Swiss schools. This article focuses on how schools, and especially their history curricula, became the vehicle with which to launch a “National Spiritual Defense“ (Geistige Landesverteidigung) against Communism. During the Cold War era, especially in the 1950s and 1960s, teachers' journals and textbooks analyses revealed tendencies connected to a heroic, teleological master narrative of Switzerland's national history. The “cultural memory“ (Assmann) was seemingly designed to strengthen the “Swiss spirit.“ It also provided patterns from which to explain the ongoing Cold War conflict. In the 1970s, educators and politicians assigned the schools the new task of assisting in national military defense efforts.

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The Disciplines of War, Memory, and Writing

Shakespeare’s Henry V and David Jones’s In Parenthesis

Adrian Poole

David Jones's In Parenthesis (1937) is the most ambitious attempt in English literary writing to commemorate the experience of the Great War. In its allusions to Shakespeare's Henry V Jones is less interested in the king than in 'Fluellen' and his mantra, 'the disciplines of war'. In Parenthesis de-centres not just Henry V, not just Shakespeare, but the conventional reading of English literary history itself. Important as the idea of discipline was to Jones - disciplines of war, of memory, of art - in the figure of 'Dai Great-coat' he celebrates an excess that challenges and eludes what 'Fluellen' represents. In doing so Jones exposes the uses and the limits of Shakespeare for the creative artist writing in English, not least when it comes to representing the experience of war and the action of memory.

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Jay Winter

The impact of the 1914–1918 conflict was so great as to constitute a crisis in Jewish life and thought. One important outcome of this crisis was the collision of history and memory as languages through which Jews ascribed meaning to the violence of the First World War. Consequently, the celebrated distinction between history and memory, advanced by Yerushalmi thirty years ago, is in need of revision. Surveying the centripetal and the centrifugal effects of war on the Jewish world in Europe, Palestine and North America, alongside the efflorescence of Jewish philanthropy, this article shows how, already during the war and in its immediate aftermath, writers and scholars, among them Ansky and Dubnow, created an amalgam of history and memory in their reflections on the upheaval of war. I have termed this practice 'historical remembrance'.

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Gendering the Cold War in the Region

An Email Conversation between Malgorzata (Gosia) Fidelis, Renata Jambrešić Kirin, Jill Massino, and Libora Oates-Indruchova

Malgorzata Fidelis, Renata Jambrešic´ Kirin, Jill Massino and Libora Oates-Indruchova

Although historians have established that gender was a crucial element of the Cold War competition between the United States of America and the Soviet Union, there is not much historical literature yet exploring that aspect of the Cold War. Even less literature specifically addresses the role of gender and/in the Cold War in Central, Eastern, and Southeastern Europe (CESEE), the region that Aspasia covers. Since Aspasia’s first issue (2007), each volume has had a Forum, though in different formats. This Forum, based on an email exchange conducted over several months between four regional experts, addresses questions about gender and/in the history and historiography of the Cold War in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Romania, and Yugoslavia. Of these countries, the first three were Soviet dominated, but Yugoslavia, after the Tito–Stalin split in 1948, developed its own branch of state socialism.