Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source4
Extract from a pamphlet called 'War Against War' published in 1914
(Alexander Dunlop Lindsay, page 1 from 'Oxford Pamphlets 1914 No.16', by permission of Oxford University Press)
  • This extract comes from one of a series called the Oxford pamphlets, which were produced during the Great War. The target audience of these pamphlets was the intelligent working man. Lecturers from Oxford University produced them, and other universities followed their example as the war went on.
  • The government did not produce these pamphlets. The university produced them privately. They were paid for by sales – people bought them by the thousands. By January 1915, the full range of Oxford pamphlets had sold around 300,000 copies.
  • The aim of this particular pamphlet is to justify going to war, while recognising that war is a terrible thing.
  • It may be that this was a response to material like source 1 in this case study. Many working men were suspicious about being dragged into a war that would bring them nothing but death and injury and had been caused by leaders who did not know them or care about them. Britain was a very divided society before the war. This pamphlet sets out an argument that war is terrible, but it might be possible to create a better world after the war.
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