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Warand SocialChange Gordon Brook-Shepherd. November, 1918. Boston: Little, Brown and Company, 1981.461 pp. Robert de V. Brunkow, et al., eds. WorldWarII from an American Perspective: An Annotated Bibliography. Santa Barbara: ABC-Clio,Inc., 1983. 227 + xiv pp. N.F.Dreisziger, ed. Mobilization/or Total War: TheCanadian, American and British Experience, 1914-1918,1939-1945.Waterloo, Ont.: WilfridLaurier University Press, 1981.155+ xvi pp. Robert K. Griffith, Jr. Men Wanted/or the U.S.Army: America's Experience with an All-Volunteer Army Between the Wars. Westport, Conn.: Greenwood Press, 1982. 260+ xvii pp. Russell F.Weigley. Eisenhower's Lieutenants: The Campaign of France and Germany, 1944-1945. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1981.800+ xviii pp. Peter Brown Twice in this century the Atlantic democracies of northern Europe and America have become involved in total war. They have won those wars but, in the long term, victory has had less effect on their societies and polities than had the national effort to produce those victories. Among the effects have been vast changes, as yet only hazily understood, in the relationship between citizens and government, with consequent fears for democratic ideals and responsible government. Except for France, the Atlantic democracies began the period with constabulary forces-armies designed to pacify distant colonial frontiers like the Northwest frontier and the Powder Rivercountry. Nevertheless, by 1918,Canada, Great Britain and the United States had experienced the political and social trauma of producing large conscript armies-something which Germany and France had been doing since the eighteenth century. Each had been forced to reorganize industry and society for total war. Moreover, each of them had to learn the diplomacy of total war: the pursuit of an international, rather than national, grand strategy and the techniques of shared command on the battlefield. Thus, when victory came in 1945,it was truly the work of an alliance. No nation could claim victory as exclusivelyhers. Nations could claim only participation in a victorious campaign. All three effects of total war on North Atlantic societies are dealt with by historians in the books listed above. Robert K. Griffith, Jr.'s, Men Wanted/or Canadian Review of American Studies, Volume 16, Number 1, Spring 1985,107-113 108 Peter Brown the U.S. Army deals with the American government's attempts to keepa volunteer regular army in being between the wars. N. F. Dreisziger in Mobilization for Total War has edited a group of papers read at the Seventh Military History Symposium, all of which deal with how Canada, Britain and the United States organized for total war in the twentieth century. Finally, the problems of developing a common grand strategy and sharing command on the battlefield are dealt with in Gordon Brook-Shepherd's Novembe,; 1918 and Russell F.Weigley's Eisenhower's Lieutenants. In the last quarter century or so, an increasing number of historians have taken on the task of explaining the social, economic and political effectsof total war on society. Among them, one, Arthur Marwick, has suggested what he describes as a four-tier working hypothesis to explain the effects of warfare upon industrial society. He would be the last to claim his model as perfect, but it has, at least, the virtue of grouping the phenomena into meaningful and manageable components. The first is the disruptive or destructive component best illustrated by comparison with the effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes or floods, but it would include new patterns of living which will have replaced the old. The second component is the test dimension. War challenges a nation's political, military, social and economic institutions. They either collapse, as in Czarist Russia, or adapt, as in Canada or the U.S. The third component is the element of participation. Modern war, because it involves so much of society, tends to involve eventhe hitherto underprivileged groups "who tend correspondingly to benefit, or at least to develop a new self-consciousness." 1 Finally, for Marwick, war is a profound psychological experience. It changes a society's view of itself and the world as expressed in its religious beliefs, its art and intellectual attitudes. Aspects of Marwick's model may be seen in the several...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-114X
Print ISSN
0007-7720
Pages
pp. 107-113
Launched on MUSE
2019-01-02
Open Access
No
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