search : contact us : about us : site guide : home

  University of British Columbia Press
 Search Our Catalogue
  search by subject

 UBC Press
About UBC Press
Acknowledgements
Conferences & Events
Contact Us
Media Centre
Publishing With UBC Press
Publishers Represented
Staff Directory

 Books
Awards
Catalogues
Forthcoming Titles
How To Order
Recent Reviews
Review Copies
Series

 Join Our Mailing List
Sign Up
Privacy Statement

 ubcpress.ca
About ubcpress.ca
Frequent Questions
Privacy Statement
Site Guide
Website Feedback

 Featured Title
.
The Great War of Words
British, American and Canadian Propaganda and Fiction, 1914-1933
Peter Buitenhuis  

218 Pages

North American rights only This title is out of print.




OTHER WAYS TO ORDER

About the Book

'I wouldn't have had one of you stay at home though I had a dozen sons. That is, if it is the noble war they all say it is. . . Surely they wouldn't deceive mothers.'
-- J.M. Barrie

In September 1914, twenty-five of Britain's most distinguished authors met under the chairmanship of C.F.G. Masterman, head of the war propaganda bureau, to discuss how they could assist the Allied effort. They included such prominent figures as H.G. Wells, Arnold Bennett, John Galsworthy, John Masefield, John Buchan, Edith Wharton and Henry James. In The Great War of Words Peter Buitenhuis tells the hitherto unknown story of the secret collaboration between leading writers and the government. He examines the propaganda books and articles they wrote -- and also the work of those opposed to the war, such as G.B. Shaw and Bertrand Russell.

The official line was the the 'urbane' French and the 'decent' British had to defend civilization against the savagery of the invading 'Huns'. However, after the war, many writers became deeply embittered about the Allied propaganda machine and their role in it. There was a growing conviction that too many lies had been told and that in propagating Allied myths, they had sacrificed the all-important detachment of the writer.

Buitenhuis chronicles both the disillusionment of the former propagandists and the reaction against their elders by younger writers, many of whom had served in the trenches. The consequences for post-war literature were profound: the prestige and power of authorship dwindled significantly, while the old rhetoric based on a widely held consensus collapsed and was replaced by lean, ironic and often understated modes of writing.


About the Author(s)

Peter Buitenhuis is a Professor in the English department at Simon Fraser University.


Table of Contents

Illustrations
Preface

Introduction

1. Signs and Portents of War
2. The Reasons Why: Setting Up the Propaganda Machine
3. The Pamphlet War
4. Masterman's Motley Army -- and Two Outsiders
5. Propaganda in America
6. Propaganda from America
7. Over There: Drawing the Paper Curtain
8. Fiction as Propaganda: War Stories
9. Home Fires Burning Low: Fiction as an Escape from Propaganda
10. New Brooms of Propaganda
11. Lost Opportunities
12. Disillusionment and Reconstruction: Writers Reflect on the War

Epilogue: Consequences

Notes
Bibliographical Note
Index


Reviews

Buitenhuis's book shows us how even writers can deceive themselves not only into celebrating but also into advertising and even lying about war.

- John Ferns, Canadian Literature

A useful overview of an important, and strangely neglected, chapter in the history of modern literature.

- The Journal of Modern Literature

The Great War of Words is a fascinating account of how a war is fought as much in the mind as on the battlefield, and by fiction writers as much as by generals and soldiers... the book serves as a useful reminder of the power of words, and dangers in a democracy of those words being used to serve an end other than the truth.

- Douglas Francis, Canadian Ethnic Studies


Sample Chapter

A sample chapter of this title is not available at this time. For further information, please email info@ubcpress.ubc.ca.


Related Topics

Literature


Other Ways To Order

In Canada, order your copy of The Great War of Words from UTP Distribution at:

UTP Distribution
5201 Dufferin Street
Toronto, Ontario
M3H 5T8

Phone orders: 1(800)565-9523 or (416)667-7791
Fax orders: 1(800)221-9985 or (416)667-7832
Email: utpbooks@utpress.utoronto.ca

Ordering information for customers outside Canada


2001 UBC Press
2029 West Mall, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, V6T 1Z2
t. 604.822.5959 | f. 604.822.6083 | e. frontdesk@ubcpress.ca
Vancouver Web Design by Internet-Exposure