Fathi, Romain: World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)

Romain Fathi

World politics explainer: the Great War (WWI)‘, The Conversation, 3 September 2018 updated

The article describes: the global conflict that was the Great War: the death toll of over ten million soldiers and six million civilians; the subsequent Spanish flu epidemic; the continuing conflict after the Armistice; the facilitation of United States (and Japanese) dominance, German bitterness, and the Russian Revolution; the flawed Versailles Treaty; post-war social and economic upheaval; the seeds of the second global war, 20 years later; and the underlying feeling of futility. And more besides.

The end of the war was not the victory the Allies claimed it was. But politicians and military leaders had to justify the dead and the enormous sacrifices they had demanded from their people.

The article gives a brief, broad sweep of this slice of history. Perhaps intentionally, but certainly significantly, it does not once use the words ‘Australia’, ‘Anzac’ or ‘Gallipoli’. That really puts things in perspective. Lest We Forget, Anzackery, no matter how sentimental, doesn’t get near the full story.

Romain Fathi writes in both French and English and his perspective on Australian commemorative habits in France is particularly valuable. Some of his writing can be found using the Search function on the Honest History site.

Endnote: Dr Fathi has kindly pointed out that Australia is referenced in a link from his article. The link refers to a PhD thesis on domestic violence in Australia after the war.

David Stephens

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