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Laurie Stoff

This article discusses the experiences of Russian nurses in World War I. An examination of Russia's sisters of mercy—as Russian nurses prior to 1918 were called—in World War I reveals the significance of women's medical service and exposes the fallacy of the notion of war as a distinctly male experience. Russian women's wartime nursing experiences share many of the features of the male war experience. Although conventional wisdom draws lines of demarcation between the active killing and dying of combat and the passive nurturance and support of nursing, in reality, Russian women's wartime medical service blurred such separations. In many ways, the narratives of female medical personnel mirror those of male combat personnel. The nurses who served in Russia during World War I indicate clearly the variety of ways that women intersected with and were affected by the war and the inadequacies of gendered notions of wartime experience.

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George Johnston’s Tibetan Interlude

Myth and Reality in Shangri-La

Paul Genoni and Tanya Dalziell

his newspaperman’s professional eye, his experience of previous travel throughout Asia, and his skepticism of the human condition born from his experience of a world at war. As a result he goes in search of reality rather than myth while also remaining

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Brian C. Rathbun

Germany's behavior during the lead-up to the United States' invasion of Iraq in 2003 seemed to confirm that the country is marked by a strategic culture of pacifism and multilateralism. However, a closer look at German actions and pattern of participation in military operations reveals that German pacifism is a myth. There was no cross party consensus on German foreign policy in the 1990s around a principled opposition to the use of force. Even in the early years after the Cold War, the Christian Democrats began very quickly, albeit deliberatively and often secretively, to break down legal and psychological barriers to the deployment of German forces abroad. Pacifism persisted on the left of the political spectrum but gave way following a genuine ideological transformation brought about by the experience of the Yugoslav wars. The nature of Germany's objection to the Iraq invasion, which unlike previous debates did not make ubiquitous references to German history, revealed how much it has changed since the end of the Cold War. Had the election in 2002 gone differently, Germany might even have supported the actions of the U.S. and there would be little talk today of a transatlantic crisis. It is now possible to treat Germany as a "normal" European power.

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Greg Thompson

James J. Flink “has clearly established himself as the leading authority on the history of the automobile and has written a major work that will repay careful study by all scholars interested in the 20th century,” wrote cultural historian Joseph J. Corn in 1989 in a review of The Automobile Age. Corn did not write “transportation scholars” but “all scholars,” and was alluding to Flink’s approach to periodizing history around progressive technological change rather than around political administrations or wars. Corn continued, “[Flink] views the car, or more accurately automobility, as being a major protagonist in the historical dramas of the period,” quoting passages that pinned the Great Depression on the saturation of the automobile market and attributed the allies’ triumph in the Second World War to superior mass-production capability stemming from the American automobile industry. Corn also observed, “Flink significantly demolished the myth, repeated by too many historians, that the American experience with automobiles has been exceptional .... Moreover, he concludes, the ‘appeals of the car were universal, not culturally determined’ (pp. 28–29).” Flink published at least two more important articles and was writing his fourth book on the automobile when he retired from his professorship in Comparative Culture at the University of California at Irvine in 1994. Since then, he eschewed academic and professional activity, despite numerous entreaties. However, when I, a former student of Flink’s and now a transportation planning professor, asked him to reflect on his influential career, Flink welcomed the opportunity. I traveled to Professor Flink’s southern California home in March 2012 for the interview, which took place on March 2.2

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Denis Vuka

, Chiara Bottici defines political myth as a narrative shared by the members of a society, which lends significance to their political experiences and deeds. 26 Myth is thus perceived as a process rather than as a finished product; it is subjected to

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War and Memory

The Israeli Communist Commemoration of the Spanish Civil War, 1936–1986

Amir Locker-Biletzki

Spanish war myth was carried forward, like its Greek forerunner, by intellectuals. Even though 80 percent of the volunteers were workers, “there were many writers and artists among them” ( Mosse 1990: 190 ) who were able to shape the myth of the war

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Narrating the Second World War

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

Lina Klymenko

falsification. They are connected to the experiences of a collectivity. As George Schöpflin argues, such historical narratives (which he calls myths) are sets of beliefs held by a community about itself, which reflect a people’s perceptions and worldviews rather

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Uncanny History

Temporal Topology in the Post-Ottoman World

Charles Stewart

twentieth century. This, combined with the end of the Cold War mentioned above, would seem to have eradicated any ‘deeper meaning’ holding the myth in place. Indeed, Greek children born in the 1980s and 1990s grew up unfamiliar with the term paidomázoma

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Yoram Peri

's enemies. Rather, they believe that, to a great extent, war is the result of a deep yearning for physical heroism and the use of force. In reading these volumes, it becomes difficult to avoid a troubling comparison. While the traumatic experiences of

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Dealing with an Ocean of Meaninglessness

Reinhart Koselleck's Lava Memories and Conceptual History

Margrit Pernau and Sébastien Tremblay

. Koselleck's musing on the end of the war additionally helps us to perceive more precisely how he conceived the relationship between experience and language, and where he saw the limits of endowing events with meaning that can be interpreted and communicated