1st Edition

The Interwar World

Edited By Andrew Denning, Heidi J.S. Tworek Copyright 2024
    734 Pages 15 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Interwar World collects an international group of over 50 contributors to discuss, analyze, and interpret this crucial period in twentieth-century history. A comprehensive understanding of the interwar era has been limited by Euro-American approaches and strict adherence to the temporal limits of the world wars. The volume’s contributors challenge the era’s accepted temporal and geographic framings by privileging global processes and interactions. Each contribution takes a global, thematic approach, integrating world regions into a shared narrative.

    Three central questions frame the chapters. First, when was the interwar? Viewed globally, the years 1918 and 1939 are arbitrary limits, and the volume explicitly engages with the artificiality of the temporal framework while closely examining the specific dynamics of the 1920s and 1930s. Second, where was the interwar? Contributors use global history methodologies and training in varied world regions to decenter Euro-American frameworks, engaging directly with the usefulness of the interwar as both an era and an analytical category. Third, how global was the interwar? Authors trace accelerating connections in areas such as public health and mass culture counterbalanced by processes of economic protectionism, exclusive nationalism, and limits to migration. By approaching the era thematically, the volume disaggregates and interrogates the meaning of the ‘global’ in this era.

    As a comprehensive guide, this volume offers overviews of key themes of the interwar period for undergraduates, while offering up-to-date historiographical insights for postgraduates and scholars interested in this pivotal period in global history.

    Table of Contents


    Heidi J.S. Tworek and Andrew Denning


    1. Environment

    Sarah Hamilton

    2. Population and Demographics

    Edward Ross Dickinson

    3. Energy

    Philipp Lehmann

    4. Technology and Infrastructure

    Fredrik Meiton

    5. Health

    Iris Borowy

    6. Mass Culture

    Matthew B. Karush and Sam Lebovic


    7. War and Revolution

    Filipe Ribeiro de Meneses

    8. Violence and Genocide

    Michelle Tusan

    9. The State

    George Lawson and Ayşe Zarakol

    10. Political Regimes

    Agnes Cornell, Jørgen Møller and Svend-Erik Skaaning

    11. International Relations and Diplomacy

    Jeremy A. Yellen

    12. Global Institutions

    Daniel Gorman

    13. Nongovernmental Organizations and Philanthropies

    Helke Rausch

    Identity and Ways of Life

    14. Gender and Sexuality

    Marc Matera and Susan Kingsley Kent

    15. Race and Ethnicity

    Jaehwan Hyun

    16. The Middle Classes

    Christof Dejung

    17. Religion and Spirituality

    John Tseh-han Chen

    18. The Urban

    Ümit Fırat Açıkgöz and Ilham Khuri-Makdisi

    19. The Rural

    Yves Segers

    Knowledge and Information

    20. Communications and Media

    Leslie James and Emma Hunter

    21. Humanities

    Humberto Beck

    22. Social Sciences

    Małgorzata Mazurek

    23. International Law

    Anne Holthoefer

    24. Architecture

    Adedoyin Teriba

    25. Natural Sciences

    Emily Kern and Michael J. Barany

    Ideologies and Practices

    26. Capitalism

    Gerold Krozewski

    27. Communism

    Arturo Zoffmann Rodriguez

    28. Fascism

    Daniel Hedinger

    29. Nationalism

    David Stenner, Deirdre Ruscitti Harshman and Matthew Harshman

    30. Pan-Movements

    Meghna Chaudhuri and Sara Marzagora

    31. Imperialism

    Takashi Fujitani

    32. Anticolonialism and Anti-Imperialism

    Michael Goebel

    33. Women’s Rights and Feminism

    Nova Robinson

    Trade and Production

    34. Economic Plans

    Kyung Deok Roh

    35. Global Trade and Protectionism

    Nikolay Kamenov

    36. Industry

    Koji Hirata

    37. Agriculture

    Vicente Pinilla and Henry Willebald

    38. The Great Depression

    Tomoko Shiroyama


    Antoinette Burton


    Andrew Denning is Associate Professor of History at the University of Kansas, USA. His research focuses on histories of mobility, technology, the environment, and empire in the twentieth century and his publications have appeared in American Historical Review, The Atlantic, and Journal of Modern History.

    Heidi J.S. Tworek is Canada Research Chair and Associate Professor at the University of British Columbia, Canada. She has published over 40 journal articles and book chapters on communications, health, international organizations, and business history plus the award-winning News from Germany (2019). She co-edits Journal of Global History.