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History World War I

The Great Class War 1914-1918

by (author) Jacques R. Pauwels

Publisher
James Lorimer & Company Ltd., Publishers
Initial publish date
Apr 2016
Category
World War I, 20th Century
  • Hardback

    ISBN
    9781459411067
    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price
    $45.00
  • eBook

    ISBN
    9781459411074
    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price
    $16.99
  • Paperback / softback

    ISBN
    9781459411050
    Publish Date
    Apr 2016
    List Price
    $27.95

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Description

Historian Jacques Pauwels applies a critical, revisionist lens to the First World War, offering readers a fresh interpretation that challenges mainstream thinking. As Pauwels sees it, war offered benefits to everyone, across class and national borders.

For European statesmen, a large-scale war could give their countries new colonial territories, important to growing capitalist economies. For the wealthy and ruling classes, war served as an antidote to social revolution, encouraging workers to exchange socialism's focus on international solidarity for nationalism's intense militarism. And for the working classes themselves, war provided an outlet for years of systemic militarization -- quite simply, they were hardwired to pick up arms, and to do so eagerly.

To Pauwels, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in June 1914 -- traditionally upheld by historians as the spark that lit the powder keg -- was not a sufficient cause for war but rather a pretext seized upon by European powers to unleash the kind of war they had desired. But what Europe's elite did not expect or predict was some of the war's outcomes: social revolution and Communist Party rule in Russia, plus a wave of political and social democratic reforms in Western Europe that would have far-reaching consequences.

Reflecting his broad research in the voluminous recent literature about the First World War by historians in the leading countries involved in the conflict, Jacques Pauwels has produced an account that challenges readers to rethink their understanding of this key event of twentieth century world history.

 

About the author

JACQUES R. PAUWELS has taught European history at the University of Toronto, York University and the University of Waterloo. He is the author of The Great Class War 1914-1918, a revisionist history of that conflict, and The Myth of the Good War, in which he provides a revisionist look at the role of the United States and other Allied countries in the Second World War. An independent scholar, Pauwels holds Ph.D.s in history and political science. He lives in Brantford, Ontario.

Jacques R. Pauwels' profile page

Editorial Reviews

Jacques Pauwels is hands down one of the most important historians writing today. His work combines profound erudition with pristine clarity. He has a unique ability to channel his expansive historical knowledge into pedagogical narratives that carefully walk the reader through extremely complex historical developments. The result is, quite simply, a series of the best books on modern and contemporary history that can—and should!—be read by both specialists and complete novices. Moreover, his commitment to the tradition of what Domenico Losurdo referred to as “counter-history” leads his readers through the looking glass, so to speak. Instead of the hackneyed stories peddled by the mainstream media and educational institutions, he delivers to his readers truly insightful, and sometimes surprising, accounts of what actually happened. His books are thus real page turners that are enthralling to read and amenable to a very large audience. I regularly teach his work and recommend it to students, professors and other interested parties. I have only heard praise of his work from those to whom I’ve recommended it.

 

 

Villanova University

"Consistent with his argument that the war was fought not only between countries, but also between the working class and its social superiors, Pauwels gives us a picture of the event as experienced by those who actually did the fighting and worked in the war industries ... Pauwels has given us a thought-provoking account of the Great War that casts it in a different light from that presented in most standard histories of the subject."

Winnipeg Free Press

"Jacques Pauwels' The Great Class War is a contribution to the ideological front in the struggle for a world without wars, for in resetting the story of that war in the Marxist frame, he loosens our ties to idealist interpretations that obscure the class nature of wars, naturalize war as an inevitable part of life, and force us to assume and share a guilt that largely rests on the shoulders of a profiteering and exploitative class."

CounterPunch

"Pauwels' thoroughly compelling narrative leads the reader to the ineluctable conclusion that elitists have been manipulating and leading the masses, unwilling or not, to the killing fields ... The Great Class War 1914-1918 is a magnificent opus."

Dissident Voice

"A study of wide scope and great importance, regardless of the political position from which it is viewed."

Mangialibri

"Pauwels' study of the Great War will prompt a critical reexamination of the causation of the First World War. It will force historians to recognize the class struggle deeply embedded in the conflict. Even more important, it should inspire further reflection on contemporary global conflicts and their relationship with class, democracy, and the struggle for power."

Marxism-Leninism Today

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