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Citizen Soldiers
The Liverpool Territorials in the First World War

$42.99 (C)

Part of Studies in the Social and Cultural History of Modern Warfare

  • Date Published: March 2011
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521187770

$ 42.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • The popular image of the British soldier in the First World War is of a passive victim, caught up in events beyond his control, and isolated from civilian society. This book offers a different vision of the soldier's experience of war. Using letters and official sources relating to Liverpool units, Helen McCartney shows how ordinary men were able to retain their civilian outlook and use it to influence their experience in the trenches. These citizen soldiers came to rely on local, civilian loyalties and strong links with home to bolster their morale and challenge those in command.

    • Important revisionist study of the experience of the ordinary soldier during the First World War
    • Uses a local case study to examine major themes in the social, cultural and military history of the First World War
    • Uses diaries, letters and memoirs as well as other official sources to access the thoughts and feelings of the soldier at war
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Military historians will no doubt find Citizen Solders a significant contribution to World War I studies. It is very engaged in important historiographical debates, foremost among them whether World War I transformed British civilians into disciplined soldiers who assimilated the values and ideals of the Regular army or if they were able to retain individual qualities enabling them to challenge their officers and question their purpose."
    -Stephen M. Miller, University of Maine

    "McCartney has written an intriguingly revisionist work...this local study of willing soldiers enriches and changes our sense of the story of World War I and its significance."
    -Peter Stansky, Stanford University, Journal of Interdisciplinary History

    "For scholars and students of the Great War in British history, this volume is an important addition to any bookshelf. The book is engagingly written, with clear supporting evidence for the author's claims and a wide range of source materials. Most importantly, the emphasis on returning again and again to the historiographical context makes this a doubly useful study for scholars of World War I because it outlines many of the revisionist arguments of the last ten years about the nature of trench warfare, the impact on the 'common' soldier, and the homogeneity of the war experience."
    -Tammy M. Proctor, Wittenberg University, American Historical Review

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2011
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521187770
    • length: 294 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 17 mm
    • weight: 0.44kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Pre-war Liverpool and the Territorial Force
    Part I. Territorial Characteristics and the Morale of the Soldier:
    3. 'Cuff and Collar Battalions:' social change and its impact on the unit
    4. 'Common ties at home and strong county pride': the persistence and importance of county uniformity
    5. The links with home: communication between the home front and the fighting front
    Part II. Command, Discipline and the Citizen Soldier:
    6. Command and consent in the trenches
    7. Discipline, punishment and the territorial ethos
    Part III. Attitudes and Experience: The War and its Aftermath:
    8. The experience of active service on the Western Front
    9. The aftermath of war.

  • Author

    Helen B. McCartney, King's College London

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