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Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars

Brave New World



Edited by Laura Beers and Geraint Thomas. Published 2012. ISBN: 9781905165582.


Detailed Description

After WWI, Britain faced a number of challenges as it sought to adapt to domestic conditions of mass democracy whilst maintaining its position in the empire in the face of national independence movements. As politicians at home and abroad sought to legitimise their position, new efforts were made to conceptualise nationality and citizenship, with attempts to engage the public using mass media and greater emphasis on governing in the public interest.

Brave New World reappraises the domestic and imperial history of Britain in the interwar period, investigating how ‘nation building’ was given renewed impetus by the upheavals of WWI. The essays in this collection address how new technologies and approaches to governance were used to forge new national identities both at home and in the empire, covering a wide range of issues from the representation of empire on film to the convergence of politics and ‘star culture’.

The book is an invaluable resource for scholars of British social, political and imperial history, as well as being of interest to the general reader.



List of contributors vii
Preface by Ross McKibbin ix
Acknowledgements xiii
Introduction 1
1. Political modernity and ‘government’ in the construction of inter-war democracy: local and national encounters Geraint Thomas 39
2. Whig lessons, Conservative answers: the literary adventures of Sir J. A. R. Marriott
Gary Love 67
3. The ‘Will to Work’: industrial management and the question of conduct in inter-war Britain Daniel Ussishkin 91
4. R epresenting the people? The Daily Mirror, class and political culture in inter-war Britain Adrian Bingham 109
5. ‘A timid disbelief in the equality to which lip-service is constantly paid’: gender, politics and the press between the wars Laura Beers 129
6. C onservative values, Anglicans and the gender order in inter-war Britain Lucy Delap 149
7. C ultivating internationalism: Save the Children Fund, public opinion and the meaning of child relief, 1919–24 Ellen Boucher 169
8. ‘Mending a broken world’: the universities and the nation, 1918–36 Tamson Pietsch 189
9. Inter-war agnotology: empire, democracy and the production of ignorance Priya Satia 209
10. Black intellectuals in the imperial metropolis and the debate over race and empire in Sanders of the River Marc Matera 227
11. C o-operatives and the technocrats, or ‘the Fabian agony’ revisited Aaron Windel 249
Index 269