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Dimensions:
234 × 156 × 18 mm
336 pages
Format:
Paperback
ISBN:
9781861890351
Illustrations:
66 illustrations
Published:
01 Mar 1999
Series:
Picturing History
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Dismembering the Male Men’s Bodies, Britain and the Great War Joanna Bourke

That notions of femininity were seriously disrupted during the First World War has become obvious in recent years. But what happened to masculinity at the same time? Based on letters, diaries and oral histories, Dismembering the Male explores the impact of the ‘war to end all wars’ on the male body.

Joanna Bourke argues convincingly that military experiences led to a greater sharing of gender identities between men of different classes and ages. She concludes that attempts to construct a new type of masculinity failed as the threat of another war, and with it the sacrifice of a new generation of men, intensified.

‘Bourke evokes a real tenderness and understanding for the men who were pushed to breaking point and beyond . . . in a book well illustrated with contemporary photographs and sketches from men's letters and diaries . . . a fine work’ — Times Higher Education Supplement

‘cogent insights into wartime experience’ — Independent on Sunday

‘stunning’ — The Observer


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Joanna Bourke is Professor of History at Birkbeck, University of London, and Global Innovations Chair at the University of Newcastle, Australia. She is the author of many books, including An Intimate History of Killing (1999), Fear: A Cultural History (2005), The Story of Pain: From Prayer to Painkillers (2014) and Wounding the World: How Military Violence and War-play Invade our Lives (2014).