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Militarism in a Global Age

Naval Ambitions in Germany and the United States before World War I

by Dirk Bönker

At the turn of the twentieth century, the United States and Germany emerged as the two most rapidly developing industrial nation-states of the Atlantic world. The elites and intelligentsias of both countries staked out claims to dominance in the twentieth century. In Militarism in a Global Age, Dirk Bönker explores the far-reaching ambitions of naval officers before World War I as they advanced navalism, a particular brand of modern militarism that stressed the paramount importance of sea power as a historical determinant. Aspiring to make their own countries into self-reliant world powers in an age of global empire and commerce, officers viewed the causes of the industrial nation, global influence, elite rule, and naval power as inseparable. Characterized by both transnational exchanges and national competition, the new maritime militarism was technocratic in its impulses; its makers cast themselves as members of a professional elite that served the nation with its expert knowledge of maritime and global affairs.

American and German navalist projects differed less in their principal features than in their eventual trajectories. Over time, the pursuits of these projects channeled the two naval elites in different directions as they developed contrasting outlooks on their bids for world power and maritime force. Combining comparative history with transnational and global history, Militarism in a Global Age challenges traditional, exceptionalist assumptions about militarism and national identity in Germany and the United States in its exploration of empire and geopolitics, warfare and military-operational imaginations, state formation and national governance, and expertise and professionalism.

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A Minor Apocalypse

Warsaw during the First World War

Robert Blobaum

In A Minor Apocalypse, Robert Blobaum explores the social and cultural history of Warsaw's "forgotten war" of 1914–1918. Beginning with the bank panic that accompanied the outbreak of the Great War, Blobaum guides his readers through spy scares, bombardments, mass migratory movements, and the Russian evacuation of 1915. Industrial collapse marked only the opening phase of Warsaw’s wartime economic crisis, which grew steadily worse during the German occupation. Requisitioning and strict control of supplies entering the city resulted in scarcity amid growing corruption, rapidly declining living standards, and major public health emergencies.

Blobaum shows how conflicts over distribution of and access to resources led to social divisions, a sharp deterioration in Polish-Jewish relations, and general distrust in public institutions. Women’s public visibility, demands for political representation, and perceived threats to the patriarchal order during the war years sustained one arena of cultural debate. New modes of popular entertainment, including cinema, cabaret, and variety shows, created another, particularly as they challenged elite notions of propriety. Blobaum presents these themes in comparative context, not only with other major European cities during the Great War but also with Warsaw under Nazi German occupation a generation later.

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Miss Undine's Living Room

A Novel

James Wilcox

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Mobilization for Total War

The Canadian, American and British Experience 1914-1918, 1939-1945

The two World Wars placed unprecedented demands on their participants and had a profound impact on many aspects of national life. The mobilization of human and material resources for total war by three nations in the twentieth century was discussed at the Seventh Royal Military College Military History Symposium in March 1980. In this volume of essays from the Symposium, Arthur Marwick offers a general overview of the problems and consequences of organizing society for total war, while other contributors examine such specific themes as mobilizing international finance for the First World WTar (Kathleen Burk), organizing Canadian war production in World War I and World War II (Michael Bliss and Robert Bothwell, respectively), the political implications of organizing American society for war from 1917 to 1945 (Robert Cuff), and the establishment and expansion of wartime British intelligence services in the two World Wars (Christopher Andrew).

The essays will be of interest to historians, political scientists, professional soldiers, and readers interested in the story of the two World Wars and the social and cultural aspects of those conflicts.

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The Next Great War?

The Roots of World War I and the Risk of U.S.-China Conflict

Richard N. Rosecrance

A century ago, Europe's diplomats mismanaged the crisis triggered by the murder of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria and the continent plunged into World War I, which killed millions, toppled dynasties, and destroyed empires. Today, as the hundredth anniversary of the Great War prompts renewed debate about the war's causes, scholars and policy experts are also considering the parallels between the present international system and the world of 1914. Are China and the United States fated to follow in the footsteps of previous great power rivals? Will today's alliances drag countries into tomorrow's wars? Can leaders manage power relationships peacefully? Or will East Asia's territorial and maritime disputes trigger a larger conflict, just as rivalries in the Balkans did in 1914?In The Next Great War?, experts reconsider the causes of World War I and explore whether the great powers of the twenty-first century can avoid the mistakes of Europe's statesmen in 1914 and prevent another catastrophic conflict. They find differences as well as similarities between today's world and the world of 1914 -- but conclude that only a deep understanding of those differences and early action to bring great powers together will likely enable the United States and China to avoid a great war.ContributorsAlan Alexandroff, Graham Allison, Richard N. Cooper, Charles S. Maier, Steven E. Miller, Joseph S. Nye Jr., T. G. Otte, David K. Richards, Richard N. Rosecrance, Kevin Rudd, Jack Snyder, Etel Solingen, Arthur A. Stein, Stephen Van Evera

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No Insignificant Part

The Rhodesia Native Regiment and the East Africa Campaign of the First World War

No Insignificant Part: The Rhodesia Native Regiment and the East Africa Campaign of the First World War is the first history of the only primarily African military unit from Zimbabwe to fight in the First World War. Recruited from the migrant labour network, most African soldiers in the RNR were originally miners or farm workers from what are now Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique, and Malawi. Like others across the world, they joined the army for a variety of reason, chief among them a desire to escape low pay and horrible working conditions.

The RNR participated in some of the key engagements of the German East Africa campaign’s later phase, subsisting on extremely meager rations and suffering from tropical diseases and exhaustion. Because they were commanded by a small group of European officers, most of whom were seconded from the Native Affairs Department and the British South Africa Police, the regiment was dominated by racism. It was not unusual for black soldiers, but never white ones, to be publicly flogged for alleged theft or insubordination. Although it remained in the field longer than all-white units and some of its members received some of Britain’s highest decorations, the Rhodesia Native Regiment was quickly disbanded after the war and conveniently forgotten by the colonial establishment. Southern Rhodesias white settler minority, partly on the strength of its wartime sacrifice, was given political control of the territory through a racially exclusive form of self-government, but black RNR veterans received little support or recognition.

No Insignificant Part takes a new look at an old campaign and will appeal to scholars of African or military history interested in the First World War.

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Nothing Less Than War

A New History of America's Entry into World War I

Justus D. Doenecke

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, political leaders in the United States were swayed by popular opinion to remain neutral; yet less than three years later, the nation declared war on Germany. In Nothing Less Than War: A New History of America’s Entry into World War I, Justus D. Doenecke examines the clash of opinions over the war during this transformative period and offers a fresh perspective on America’s decision to enter World War I. Doenecke reappraises the public and private diplomacy of President Woodrow Wilson and his closest advisors and explores in great depth the response of Congress to the war. He also investigates the debates that raged in the popular media and among citizen groups that sprang up across the country as the U.S. economy was threatened by European blockades and as Americans died on ships sunk by German U-boats. The decision to engage in battle ultimately belonged to Wilson, but as Doenecke demonstrates, Wilson’s choice was not made in isolation. Nothing Less Than War provides a comprehensive examination of America’s internal political climate and its changing international role during the seminal period of 1914–1917.

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Operation Albion

The German Conquest of the Baltic Islands

Michael B. Barrett

In October 1917, an invasion force of some 25,000 German soldiers, accompanied by a flotilla of 10 dreadnoughts, 350 other vessels, a half-dozen zeppelins, and 80 aircraft, attacked the Baltic islands of Dago, Osel, and Moon at the head of the Gulf of Riga. It proved to be the most successful amphibious operation of World War I. The three islands fell, the Gulf was opened to German warships and was now a threat to Russian naval bases in the Gulf of Finland, and 20,000 Russians were captured. The invasion proved to be the last major operation in the East. Although the invasion had achieved its objectives and placed the Germans in an excellent position for the resumption of warfare in the spring, within three weeks of the operation, the Bolsheviks took power in Russia (November 7, 1917) and Albion faded into obscurity as the war in the East came to a slow end.

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The Origins of the Lloyd George Coalition

Robert James Scally

This book examines the intrusion of imperialist modes of thought into the domestic politics of the Edwardian period and the war years. The author analyzes the fusion of social-imperialist ideology with the Lloyd George insurgency in the Liberal Party and reinforces the hypothesis that European imperialism in this era aligned itself with progressive Liberalism to form the chief defense against rising democratic and socialist forces. Major events of the war years such as the collapse of the Liberal Party and the dispute over war aims are shown to be the products of the continuing conflict between these forces rather than merely the result of the circumstances of war.

The author describes the development of the body of social-imperialist ideas and strategies between the Boer War and the formation of the Lloyd George Coalition of 1916. The political course of the Coalition idea is traced past the crisis of 1910 into the war years and the debate over plans for reconstruction. Thus, the Coalition of 1916 is seen mainly as an outgrowth of the prewar political crisis—a device originally designed as a response to domestic issues and adapted only later to the pressures of war. This original interpretation of the Coalition and its origins establishes the historical significance of social imperialism and places Lloyd George and the British right in new perspective.

Originally published in 1975.

The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Pershing's Crusaders

The American Soldier in World War I

Pershing’s Crusaders: The American Soldier in World War I is the most comprehensive examination of the daily lives, experiences, motivations, morale and attitudes of the doughboys of the Great War.

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