British Library hosts: 'The First World War: The Debate'

Posted on on 28/02/2014
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The British Library has organised a debate focusing on the First World War in light of the upcoming Centenary, with a panel of academics discussing the conflict and how the anniversary should be marked.

Chaired by Paul Lay, the Editor of History Today, the panel consisted of:

Professor Gary Sheffield (Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton)

Dr Annika Mombauer (Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the Open University)

Dr Dan Todman (Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary, University of London)

Dr Neil Faulkner (Research Fellow at Bristol University)

Mr. Lay said that the panel showcased a "wide range of opinions", and presented a "serious academic engagement" with the First World War.

He continued that: "no subject is quite as riddled with myth as the First World War".

In a wide ranging debate, the panelists discussed topics including how the Centenary should be commemorated.

British and German governmental plans to mark the Centenary were contrasted and the UK government's focus on commemorating military defeats, rather than victories during the Centenary, were also discussed.

Drawing diverse opinions and interpretations from the panel, issues such as the causes of the First World War, the social history of the conflict and how the war has been portrayed were also discussed.

Posted by: Daniel Barry, Centenary News

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