The First World War marked a scale of conflict and bloodshed unprecedented in history. From 1914 to 1918, rival alliances sought to crush one another, primarily in Europe, but the fighting spread in pockets around the globe. By the war’s end, several empires had fallen and the world had become a very different place.
While most people are familiar in one way or another with the mobilization to the Great War, many do not know of another global battle that was taking place at the time, in town centers and workplaces, universities, places of worship and inside peoples’ homes. This struggle put those who supported the movement to fight in opposition with dissenters who protested mandatory conscription and war. Both sides rallied around patriotism, whether they saw it manifested in going to war to fight for their country, or in avoiding conflict to protect their country and its citizens from the ravages of war.
To mark the centenary of World War I, historian Adam Hochschild will delve into this domestic battle in an illustrated discussion at UC Santa Barbara titled, “Warriors and Dissenters: The War Within the War of 1914-1918.” The award-winning writer will take on the different faces of this conflict, which touched various elements of society and caused people to re-examine concepts of patriotism, sedition, free speech and other civil liberties. Tension between pro- and anti-war advocates existed everywhere, but Hochschild will focus on Britain, where war was fiercely advocated and fiercely opposed.
The talk, which is free and open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m. on Monday, Feb. 2 in the McCune Conference Room, 6020 Humanities and Social Sciences Building at UCSB.
“As recent events have poignantly demonstrated, the issues of freedom of expression and international violence are intimately linked,” said Salim Yaqub, associate professor of history and director of the UCSB Center for Cold War Studies and International History (CCWS). “Adam Hochschild’s scholarship vividly reminds us that this linkage is at least a century old.”
Following the talk, Hochschild will answer questions from the audience and sign copies of his book, “To End All Wars: A Story of Loyalty and Rebellion, 1914-1918.”
“Warriors and Dissenters: The War Within the War of 1914-1918” is co-sponsored by the UCSB Department of History and CCWS.
An acclaimed historian, essayist and travel writer, Adam Hochschild writes stories of real-life men and women and their struggles against historical injustices. A former civil rights worker, he also participated in the movement against the Vietnam War, and went on to co-found the magazine Mother Jones in 1970. He has received numerous awards for his work, including the PEN/Spiegelvogel-Diamonstein Award for the Art of the Essay; the J. Anthony Lukas Award; the Duff Cooper Prize; and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History. In addition to writing, Hochschild lectures on journalism at UC Berkeley.