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Renaissance military memoirs studied for what they reveal of contemporary attiudes towards war, selfhood and identity.
In On Military Memoirs Esmeralda Kleinreesink offers insight into military books: the writers, their writing motivation, the publishers and the plots. Every Afghanistan war autobiography from the US, the UK, Germany, Canada and the Netherlands is compared quantitatively and qualitatively.
Examining the memoirs and autobiographies of British soldiers during the Romantic period, Neil Ramsey explores the effect of these as cultural forms mediating warfare to the reading public during and immediately after the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic wars. Forming a distinct and commercially successful genre that in turn inspired the military and nautical novels that flourished in the 1830s, military memoirs profoundly shaped nineteenth-century British culture's understanding of war as Romantic adventure, establishing images of the nation's middle-class soldier heroes that would be of enduring significance through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. As Ramsey shows, the military memoir achieved widespread acclaim and commercial success among the reading public of the late Romantic era. Ramsey assesses their influence in relation to Romantic culture's wider understanding of war writing, autobiography, and authorship and to the shifting relationships between the individual, the soldier, and the nation. The memoirs, Ramsey argues, participated in a sentimental response to the period's wars by transforming earlier, impersonal traditions of military memoirs into stories of the soldier's personal suffering. While the focus on suffering established in part a lasting strand of anti-war writing in memoirs by private soldiers, such stories also helped to foster a sympathetic bond between the soldier and the civilian that played an important role in developing ideas of a national war and functioned as a central component in a national commemoration of war.
Interest in the history of violence has increased dramatically over the last ten years and recent studies have demonstrated the productive potential for further inquiry in this field. The early modern period is particularly ripe for further investigation because of the pervasiveness of violence. Certain countries may have witnessed a drop in the number of recorded homicides during this period, yet homicide is not the only marker of a violent society. This volume presents a range of contributions that look at various aspects of violence from the fourteenth to the seventeenth centuries, from student violence and misbehaviour in fifteenth-century Oxford and Paris to the depiction of war wounds in the English civil wars. The book is divided into three sections, each clustering chapters around the topics of interpersonal and ritual violence, war, and justice and the law. Informed by the disciplines of anthropology, criminology, the history of art, literary studies, and sociology, as well as history, the contributors examine all forms of violence including manslaughter, assault, rape, riots, war and justice. Previous studies have tended to emphasise long-term trends in violent behaviour but one must always be attentive to the specificity of violence and these essays reveal what it meant in particular places and at particular times.
"From his command post in Cairo, Illinois, Grant led troops to Union victories at Belmont, Fort Henry, and Fort Donelson. Kionka interweaves the story of Grant's military successes and advancement with a social history of Cairo, highlighting the area's economic gains and the contributions of civilian volunteers through first-person accounts"--Provided by publisher.
South Africa's 'Border War' provides a timely study of the 'war of words' waged by retired South African Defence Force (SADF) generals and other veterans against critics and detractors. The book explores the impact of the 'Border War' on South African culture and society during apartheid and in the new dispensation and discusses the lasting legacy or 'afterlife' of the war in great detail. It also offers an appraisal of the secondary literature of the 'Border War', supplemented by archival research, interviews and an analysis of articles, newspaper reports, reviews and blogs. Adopting a genuinely multidisciplinary approach that borrows from the study of history, literature, visual culture, memory, politics and international relations, South Africa's 'Border War' is an important volume for anyone interested in the study of war and memory or the modern history of South Africa.
For all too obvious reasons, war, empire, and military conflict have become extremely hot topics in the academy. Given the changing nature of war, one of the more promising areas of scholarly investigation has been the development of new theories of war and war’s impact on society. War, Citizenship, Territory features 19 chapters that look at the impact of war and militarism on citizenship, whether traditional territorially-bound national citizenship or "transnational" citizenship. Cowen and Gilbert argue that while there has been an explosion of work on citizenship and territory, Western academia’s avoidance of the immediate effects of war (among other things) has led them to ignore war, which they contend is both pervasive and well nigh permanent. This volume sets forth a new, geopolitically based theory of war’s transformative role on contemporary forms of citizenship and territoriality, and includes empirical chapters that offer global coverage.

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