Telling Tales About Men
1 May 2010
This book provides an intriguing account of how conscientious objectors, who opposed war on religious, moral and political grounds, were perceived during the First World War.
Exploring the relationship between men, war, culture, patriotism and individual conscience, Bibbings draws on a range of materials and disciplines to produce this socio-cultural study. Sources include diaries, government papers, legal records, newspapers, magazines and novels, while the book is informed by writings from literary and gender studies, criminology, sociology, law and history. “We all know stories about the Great War,” says Bibbings, “but these tend to focus on soldiers and warfare. What I wanted to do in this book was to explore the ways in which tales could be told about the men who refused to fight.”
“The narratives about ‘conchies’ presented within these pages challenge established understanding about these men and makes a valuable contribution to existing literature about those who say no to war,” commented the military historian, researcher and broadcaster, Julian Putkowski. “This is an original, culturally nuanced and engaging book which marries the personal with the political.”
Manchester University Press, 2009