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First World War: Still No End in Sight

First World War: Still No End in Sight (Hardback)

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Synopsis

That the conflicts unleashed by Great War did not end in 1918 is well known. World War II and the Cold War clearly constitute key moments in the drama that began in August 1914. This book argues that the battle of ideas which crystallised during the course of the Great War continue to the present. It claims that the disputes about lifestyles and identity - the Culture Wars of today -are only the latest expressions of a century long conflict. There are many influences that contributed to the outbreak of World War One. One significant influence was the cultural tension and unease that disposed significant numbers of artists, intellectuals and young people to regard the War as an opportunity give meaning to their existence. Later these tensions merged with social unrest and expressed themselves through the new ideologies of the Left and the Right. While these ideologies have become exhausted the conflicts of culture persist to this date. That is why there is Still No End In Sight for the battle of ideas set in motion in August 1914. Modern wars did not only lead to the loss of millions of lives.

Wars also played a significant role in changing attitudes towards the political ideals of modern time. The Great War called into question the future of liberal democracy. It led to the emergence of radical ideologies, which were in turn discredited through the experience of the Second World War and the Cold War. The current Culture Wars have significantly eroded the status of the values associated with modernity. Through exploring the battle of ideas set in motion in August 1914 - First World War- Still No End In Sight - provides a framework for understanding the changing focus of political conflict from ideology to culture.

Frank Furedi is Professor of Sociology at the University of Kent at Canterbury.

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