Total War & Social Change

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by kjokkenjokken, Mar 13, 2008.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. I'm currently studying Total War & Social Change with the Open Uni and am asking if any Arrsers have book recommendations/websites or even better past essays on the subject. The period covered by the course is 1914-1955, the current assignment is relevant to WW1, 2000 words aargh. Feel free to PM me if required

    Many Thanks
  2. I did the same course a few years ago as part of my BA Hons; as with all OU courses they give you the relevant books but with the initial packup of stuff there is a recommended reading list. I'm afraid you will have to get those books but don't worry there aren't many but they ain't cheap either.
    Very good course though - level 3 so not easy but enjoyable.

    Pity those doing 'easy' media courses and they have to buy/rent/get hold of all the movies needed for the course and with it being the OU few are available from your local Blockbuster!
  3. 'After the Reich' by Giles MacDonogh is totally recommended, a very good look at the transformation of Germany 1944 – 1955 & the motives of the players (USA, Sovs, Brits etc). Max Hastings raved about it.
  4. dockers

    dockers Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    Recommend the following:

    Marwick, Arthur, The deluge : British society and the First World War / Arthur Marwick . - 2nd ed . - Basingstoke : Macmillan, 1991

    Evidence, history, and the Great War : historians and the impact of 1914-18 / edited by Gail Braybon, Oxford ; New York : Berghahn, 2003


    Braybon, Gail, Women workers in the First World War, London ; New York : Routledge, 1989

    Also useful:
    Marwick, Arthur, Britain in the century of total war : war, peace and social change. 1900-196 . - London (etc.) : Bodley Head, 1968

    James, Harold, Europe reborn : a history, 1914-2000, Harlow : Longman, 2003

    Waites, B, The Effect of the First World War on on class and status in England, 1910-1920 in the Journal of Contemporary History, 1976
  5. Thanks guys, I have purchased several of the recommended books and am attempting to glean the relevant info, just not sure I can condense it all into 2000 words.

    Your absolutely right Leedsboy, level 3 is gonna be tough. It's my 1st L3 course, spent too much time on L1 and 2 courses but if I complete and pass this then it's a BA Open and possibly a L3 course next year for the Honours.

  6. Niall Ferguson had an interesting take on the way the social movements of the time overwhelmed previous standards and conduct. His thesis was that the democratic nations had to become more like the totalitarian ones in order to defeat them. There was some interesting stuff on how propagandising against the Japanese resulted in our lads reflecting the casual brutality and indifferent cruelty they meted out themselves.

    OK, the guy's a bit of a tosser who loves courting controversy, but I think it might add an alternative view to your reading. I think it was this one.
  7. dockers

    dockers Old-Salt Book Reviewer

    The countries involved had to change the way that they did things, in response to a war unlike any experienced before, hence the Defence of the Realm Act, women workers, and the "nationalisation" of assets that took place in both wars. The extent of social change is still a subject of historical controversy with Marwick at the lead of saying there was great social change. More recent writings by historians suggest that he was over egging the pudding, as it were, and that after both wars, there was a great pressure to "return to normal" with women being urged, legally in some european countries, to return to the home. In the case of WW2, planning for reconstruction was evident from early on and caught hte public mood.

    A great read on this is Brad Beaven's book Leisure, Citizenship and Working-class Men in Britain, 1850-1945 Manchester : Manchester University Press, 2005 which uses Home Office Intelligence and Mass Observation reports on home morale as its basis for its chapter on WW2.
  8. [marq=down][marq=up]

    Hi Kjokkenjokken, I'm glad to know that I am not the only one suffering doing Total War & Social Change! :D I have to say this is the hardest course I have done with the OU so far and I always thought that 20th Century history was my strong point. I did an L3 course last year which I did find absolutely superb - Culture, Power and Identity in Imperial Rome. One thing I do find with the OU is that the workloads between courses, even of the same level, is extremely inconsistent. I would say that reading a unit is taking twice as long as the course I did last year. Anyway, I'm sorry I cannot yet add to the list of recommended reading yet - I am a couple of weeks behind already and I fear that I know what I will be doing ALL this weekend :study: Please PM me if you would like to share some of the burden of the course and swap notes etc!
  9. Hi Smurf,

    Always good to know ones not alone in their struggle. I have sent you a pm, always happy to share my burden, it's not good to be selfish.
  10. These may be useful supplementary reading:

    Brian Bonds, "War & Society in Europe, 1870-1970", 1984 (ISBN 0-00- 686114 - 8): concise/ readable general survey.

    John Ellis, "The Social History of the Machine Gun", 1975 (ISBN 0-09-173145-3): concise study of the social/ cultural/ ethical impact of the machine gun.

    Geoffrey Moorhouse, "Hell's Foundations", 1992 (ISBN 0-340-57982-X): fascinating study of the impact of the Gallipoli Campaign on the Lancashire town of Bury, esp post-war collective identity.

    Best wishes,

  11. Kjokkenjokken, all books mentiond so far are excellent reads, may i allso recommend -

    Gordon Corrigan - Mub, Blood and Poppycock, 'this will overturn everthing you thought you knew about the first world war'

    Gorden Corrigan - Blood, Sweat and Arrogance, 'and the myths of Churchills War'

    Gregor Dallas - Poisoned Peace, '1945, the war that never ended'
  12. Probably the best work on WW1 at the moment is "1914 1918 The History of the First World War" by David Stevenson out of LSE. Unfortunately he's bought into the whole military revolutions fallacy but otherwise a balanced and well structured study.


  13. Sound like a good course Jokken. Oh to have the burden of essays again!

    These books are Germany specific, but as Germany was changed totally by Wars, they may be of help, but I`ll try and dig out some old reading lists and bibliographies.

    Germany 1866-1945-Gordon A Craig.

    Fontana History of Germany (The divided nation)-Mary Fullbrook.

    Germany from Partition to Reunification-Henry Ashby Turner.

    And a favourite of BOAR veterans everywhere;

    Women in German History (From Bourgeois emancipation to Sexual Liberation)-Ute Frevert :p

    "Right, Dog`, I want 20,000 words on the German Working Class, Big Business and the Nazi Party"