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Forging the Collective Memory
Government and International Historians through Two World Wars
Edited by Keith Wilson
224 pages, app., index
ISBN 978-1-57181-862-1 $135.00/£99.00 / Hb / Published (November 1996)
ISBN 978-1-57181-928-4 $29.95/£23.95 / Pb / Published (July 1996)
eISBN 978-1-78238-828-9 eBook
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"Undergraduates majoring in history and first-year graduate students ... will learn a lot fromKeith Wilson's diversified and interesting collection." · The Journal of Military History
When studying the origins of the First World War, scholars have relied heavily on the series of key diplomatic documents published by the governments of both the defeated and the victorious powers in the 1920s and 1930s. However, this volume shows that these volumes, rather than dealing objectively with the past, were used by the different governments to project an interpretation of the origins of the Great War that was more palatable to them and their country than the truth might have been. In revealing policies that influenced the publication of the documents, the relationships between the commissioning governments, their officials, and the historians involved, this collection serves as a warning that even seemingly objective sources have to be used with caution in historical research.
Keith Wilson is Emeritus Professor of International Politics at the School of History, University of Leeds. His research interests are primarily in the field of British foreign/imperial policy in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. His most recent publications include The Limits of Eurocentricity: Imperial British Foreign and Defence Policies in the Early Twentieth Century (2007) and Decisions for War, 1914 (2003).