Book Review: Patriotism & Propaganda in First World War Britain

This looks like an interesting book – not reviewed by me I hasten to add: Gradually, much of the scaffolding of the influential, but historically inaccurate, depiction of British opinion during the First World War, reflected in countless novels as well as older historical studies, is being dismantled. The disillusionment of the war poets is no longer seen as typical of soldiers’ attitudes and the fortitude of British society is increasingly recognised. The view of Continue Reading →

Playing at War?

Really interesting story on the value (or otherwise) of game playing to offer insights into politics, pandemics & propaganda: Simulations and games can be highly effective in helping to teach students about politics and war – but often suffer from oversimplification, a lack of clear purpose or insufficient time to explore issues meaningfully. These were among the views put forward at a workshop – held at the University of Westminster earlier this month – on Continue Reading →

BBC2: How We Won the War

There’s a series currently in planning for BBC2, to be presented by Jules Hudson, for Autumn 2012, a travelogue across the UK uncovering civilian stories of the Second World War. Having come across ‘The Art of War‘ at the National Archives (which they hadn’t realised was written by me), and then I guess coming across my website, I have just been in talks with them about being an expert for an episode on government propaganda Continue Reading →

Talk: Seeing it through – wartime posters on the Underground @ltmuseum

Tuesday 1 March 2011 London Transport’s war posters used modern design to convey essential information to passengers and staff. Thoughtful passenger behaviour was encouraged in the humorous cartoons of Fougasse and David Langdon. More direct appeals for co-operation, or advice on sheltering and the ‘blackout’ were expressed in easy to read layouts. Other posters celebrated LT’s contribution to the war effort and London’s resilience. Seeing it Through was a series of posters commissioned from Eric Continue Reading →

Reynoldson, F. Home Front: Propaganda 1993

A good primary school book, one of many Reynoldson has written. The book is well illustrated with photographs and poster illustrations, accompanied by clear text which, of necessity, is simplistic. There are several quotes from key figures in the war, which, if the subject is developed at a later age, will become well known! The ‘Home Front’ is often a popular topic in schools, as so many areas of the National Curriculum can be covered. Continue Reading →

Paret, P.; Lewis, B.; Paret, P. Persuasive Images 1992

Although this book is derived from an American collection of posters, the range of posters shown is very wide-ranging. After a brief general poster history pre-1914, the book contains many posters from most (if not all) of the belligerent nations involved in warfare during the twentieth century – a century in which propaganda and the art of advertising has flourished. Most of the posters are accompanied by useful snippets of information which tries to set Continue Reading →

McLaine, I. Ministry of Morale: Home Front Morale and the Ministry of Information in World War Two London: George Allen & Unwin, 1979

A key work for this project which fully considers the administrative history of the Ministry of Information, the lead government department for propaganda. He argues that for two years, the measures taken by government propagandists were: Unnecessary and inept Based on misunderstanding and distrust of the British public Products of the class and background of the propagandists themselves. He feels that after two years: The Germans were still characterised as irretrievably wicked. Efforts were made Continue Reading →

Grant, Mariel Propaganda and the Role of the State in Inter-War Britain Oxford: Clarendon, 1994

This work is converted from Grant’s PhD thesis, and is obviously largely concerned with the inter-war propaganda, although the starting point taken was the initial ‘failure’ of the Ministry of Information at the beginning of the war. She feels that most other works have concentrated too much upon the negativity which surrounded propaganda after its use in the First World War, and upon staffing problems, with little or no consideration of peacetime propaganda which affected Continue Reading →