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British Army Uniform and the First World War: Men in Khaki by Jane Tyn


jagjetta

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Greetings,

Amazon just alerted me to the above title. There were no reviews or interior views, so I thought i would ask on the Forum if anyone has examined a copy?

If so, I was wondering how it stands for detailing uniform pieces variants. Is the book geared toward collectors / material culture enthusiasts?

Thank you for any opinions you can offer,

Amazon linK:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0230301576/ref=pe_397910_114050800_em_1p_0_im

John

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The author is an academic at the University of the Arts London. and the book appears to be based on her PhD titled Representations of soldiering : British army uniform and the male body during the First World War. It is not available for download, but the British Library website gives the following abstract:

This thesis explores the role of First World War British army clothing to the representation and experience of men through popular culture, official regulations and personal accounts. The aims of the research are threefold. Firstly, it examines how mass mobilisation altered sources and systems of army clothing supply to consider how large-scale production and consumption shaped masculine identities. Secondly, the thesis argues that khaki service dress was part of the iconography of war, a visible signifier of active military participation and object of evocation and memory. Finally, it explores tensions between individual experience and collective myth to consider the role of clothing practices to the formation of ideas about gender, class and the relationship between the body and technology during the First World War. The discussion explores themes of gender and visuality through a focused analysis of the ways in which British army uniform was worn, promoted and made between 1914-1918. It shows how the specific design of khaki service dress drew attention to the body, created illusions of corporeal durability and suggested equality through an aesthetic of standardisation. The work of Michel Foucault is used to consider how cultural practices shape objects, specifically in relation to disciplinary techniques and gendered practices in military culture. The thesis shows how the service dress enabled techniques for body discipline and standardisation, but also how its role in military discourses perpetuated the fiction of a singular and uniform masculinity. Thus, the research explores the formation of meaning of army clothing in wartime through popular representations, but tests their reliability against a range of other kinds of sources such as personal accounts, production processes, trade organisation and official regulations. As clothing links a number of related concerns, the thesis uses uniform to establish a dialogue between formerly discrete disciplines, in particular, military history, social history and cultural studies. This exploration of the significance of military uniform, an object experienced by a wide range of social groups, contributes to current debates about British popular culture during the First World War.

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And here's me thinking uniform was just practical clothing for soldiering and khaki a good camouflage. Who knew it perpetuated masculinity, in an army made up mostly of men?

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You can look inside it on the amazon.co.uk listing; and very worthy it looks too.

And further from something aimed at the collector or Great War militaria enthusiast you could not imagine.

The best new book, by a country mile, on uniform and equipment around at the moment is this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Campaign-1914-Chris-Pollendine/dp/1628475927/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1395331492&sr=8-1&keywords=pollendine

Cheers,

GT.

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And here's me thinking uniform was just practical clothing for soldiering and khaki a good camouflage. Who knew it perpetuated masculinity, in an army made up mostly of men?

Me too!

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Sounds like a real page-turner.

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There has been a surge of academic interest in the matter of world war uniform of late, this is the second of two PhDs I'm aware of. I think the second had an angle on women's services' uniform but yes, the direction was subjection to masculinity from femininity etc.

And yet another book from Palgrave Macmillan with an eye-watering price tag that your local library will baulk at ordering in.

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Has the range of subjects for doctorate theses become been used up? The precis seemed to contain a measure of gobbledegook.

Old Tom

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Indeed when my better half looks over some of the titles of military history PhDs she says "And people think your subject is obscure?"

But no - the potential is theoretically limitless; the aim is convincing a School of Advanced Study (which many unis are now establishing to manage postgrad research) that the subject is valid.

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Old Tom - "A measure" underestimates it, I'd say.

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Well, to be accurate, i was 'reviewing' the synopsis. For all I know, the book is absolutely rivetting, but it isn't on my to-do pile.

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Re post 9. Interesting; but having not reached such level of academia, I wonder if the utility of the proposed research has any bearing on it being selected.

Old Tom

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