Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

David Seymour

THE UNQUIET WESTERN FRONT: BRITAIN’S ROLE IN HIST

Recommended Posts

David Seymour

B. Bond, The Unquiet Western Front: Britain’s Role in History and Literature, Cambridge, 2002. (Emeritus Professor of Military History, King’s College London)

A nice slim volume which provides an analysis of the post-war myth creation industry.

Recommended.

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Fred van Woerkom

Brian Bond: The Unquiet Western Front

I read Brian Bond's WAR AND SOCIETY IN EUROPE, 1870-1970 and found it most useful.

Could you give the price and just a little synopsis?

Thanks,

Fred

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Seymour

Fred,

ISBN 0521809959 hardback £17.50

Contents:

1. The Necessary War, 1914 - 1918

2. Goodbye to all that, 1919 - 1933

3. Donkeys and Flanders mud - The war rediscovered in the 1960s

4. Thinking the unthinkable - The First World War as history

A gripping read. At only 104 pages you can finish it at one sitting. It deals with the ways in which the British military achievement in the First World War was overshadowed by literary myths, how that achievement has been gradually rescued since the 1960s, and how it remains the subject of controversy.

The views of so many historians and commentators from the whole period are covered that I haven't bothered to count them. In that respect it is an excellent synthesis.

As one would expect from Bond the argument is first class throughout.

Highly recommended for all. Especially useful for anyone studying/teaching the war at A Level in either English or History.

Regards,

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
john w.

Having come from the revisionist thread.. how does this book fit? is it revisionist?

John

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Seymour

John,

Revise: to re-examine or to reconsider.

Bond has certainly re-examined the issues concerned with viewing the First World War as history.

Perhaps a brief quotation from p. 101 of his book will illuminate his view. Referring to the 1996 BBC programme about Haig: "John Hussey suggested it would take another fifty years to get the British achievement in the First World War understood and accepted as history. I too am pessimistic but I hope it will not take quite as long as that."

Regards,

David

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris_B

I haven't had the opportunity to read Brian Bond's book but I did come across some of his lecture notes on the web which are along the same theme.

The lectures title is: "A Victory worse than a Defeat? British Interpretations of the First World War" and the notes may be found here:

http://www.kcl.ac.uk/lhcma/info/lec97.htm

I think these few pages will give you a taste of his arguments. They also contain several interesting references.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
armourersergeant

Chris,

Thanks for that link it was an interesting article. I have read an article in a book by Bond regarding Liddel Hart, I think i posted a thread from the reading of that, and it was very well put together. If the above book is as good it will be worth a read.

Arm.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Staffsyeoman

I must declare an interest in Brian Bond - he was my Professor ooohhh 20 years ago (breaks out in ageing sweat). I didn't agree with all of his positions when I was one of his postgrad students, but hey, that's academic freedom.

However, urge everyone to at least read this book. (I bought it last year just before Xmas, it had sort of crept out earlier in the year, but some military history academics were putting it on 'books of the year' lists).

Compelling, measured, argued well. You may blanch at eighteen quid for a thin volume (why no paperback yet, CUP??) but it WILL reward you.

Phil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Marilyne

resurrecting this topic as I'm browsing through my notes on the book, that I read in 2010.

While "the Unquiet Western Front" it is stil THE reference with regard to the historiography/filmography of the war, I was wondering if over the years since its publication, new takes on the subject have been published.

the Centenary was an incentive for multiple books, TV series and movies, all with of course their own vision of th facts and their own, sometimes new cultural interpretation.

 

Any suggestions??

 

M.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
David Filsell

Mr S Y.

(breaks out in ageing sweat) 

You aint even got yer legs brahn yet!

Best regards

David 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
KernelPanic

Thanks for the topic resurrection. My library has free downloads of all CUP books at the moment, so I just grabbed this one. Looking forward to reading it. 

I'm also interested to hear any recommendations of more recent books along the same lines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...