Visions and Ideas of Europe during the First World War  book cover
1st Edition

Visions and Ideas of Europe during the First World War

ISBN 9781138055520
Published August 18, 2019 by Routledge
278 Pages

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Book Description

Given the destruction and suffering caused by more than four years of industrialised warfare and economic hardship, scholars have tended to focus on the nationalism and hatred in the belligerent countries, holding that it led to a fundamental rupture of any sense of European commonality and unity. It is the central aim of this volume to correct this view and to highlight that many observers saw the conflict as a ‘European civil war’, and to discuss what this meant for discourses about Europe. Bringing together a remarkable range of compelling and highly original topics, this collection explores notions, images, and ideas of Europe in the midst of catastrophe.

Table of Contents


Jan Vermeiren and Matthew D’Auria

Decadence, Messianism, and Redemption: Thinking Europe’s Apocalypse, 1914–1918

Matthew D’Auria

In Defence of Europe: Russia in German Intellectual Discourse, 1914-1918

Jan Vermeiren

Europe in the German Pacifists’ Discourse during the Great War

Landry Charrier

A New World? German and French Debates about America and Europe during the First World War

Egbert Klautke

Élie Faure, his Visions of War and his Image of Europe

Annamaria Ducci

Max Waechter, Anglo-German rapprochement and the European Unity League, 1906–1924

Ulrich Tiedau

‘La Jeune Europe’: Masses, Anti-militarism and Moral Reformation in the Banfi-Caffi Correspondence (1910-1919)

Marcello Gisondi

Eagle and Dwarf: Polish Concepts of East Central Europe, 1914–1921

Maciej Górny

Ideas of Europe in Neutral Spain (1914-1918)

Maximiliano Fuentes Codera

Europe under Threat: Visual Projections of Europe in Raemaekers’ First World War Cartoons

Richard Deswarte

The Tenacity of European Self-Esteem at the Time of the First World War: Examples from Architecture and the Visual Arts

Michael Wintle

The Legacy of War and the Idea of Europe in the 1920s

Mark Hewitson


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Jan Vermeiren and Matthew D’Auria teach History at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom.


"D’Auria and Vermeiren (both, Univ. of East Anglia, UK) edited and contributed to this volume on ideas about Europe during and after WW I. They argue that the sense of a broad European identity rooted in history persisted and was articulated in the work of intellectuals, novelists, and artists, even during the conflict, which was fueled by intense nationalism and demonization of the enemy. Contributors discuss works from a range of mainly French, German, and British authors who reflected on how the cataclysm of a "European 'civil war'" would reshape the continent in terms of shared culture and, for some, in the possibility of political unification. Of particular interest are two essays about the visual representation of Europe: Richard Deswarte’s essay on Dutch cartoonist Louis Raemaekers's graphic depiction of young women threatened by German brutality evoking the symbolic figure of the mythical Europa, and Michael Wintle’s essay on the iconography of national war memorials reflecting the reassertion of Europeans’ faith in the superiority of their civilization over that of other populations. This book will be welcomed by scholars studying WW I and the history of European integration" - A. H. Plunkett, Piedmont Virginia Community College, CHOICE magazine