Brave New World

Imperial and Democratic Nation-Building in Britain between the Wars

Laura Beers and Geraint Thomas (eds.)

Brave new world cover imageAfter WWI, Britain faced a number of challenges as it sought to adapt to domestic conditions of mass democracy whilst maintaining its position in the empire in the face of national independence movements. As politicians at home and abroad sought to legitimise their position, new efforts were made to conceptualise nationality and citizenship, with attempts to engage the public using mass media and greater emphasis on governing in the public interest.

Brave New World reappraises the domestic and imperial history of Britain in the inter-war period, investigating how ‘nation building’ was given renewed impetus by the upheavals of the First World War. The essays in this collection address how new technologies and approaches to governance were used to forge new national identities both at home and in the empire, covering a wide range of issues from the representation of empire on film to the convergence of politics and ‘star culture’.

The book is an invaluable resource for scholars of British social, political and imperial history, as well as being of interest to the general reader.

Price: £40.00, hbk.
ISBN: 978-1-905165-58-2
Published: May 2012

'Brave New World is both a testament to the existing strength of inter-war British studies and a stimulus in its own right to the ongoing vibrancy of this field. It will be highly valued by students and scholars alike.' - Emily Baughan, Twentieth Century British History, January 2013.

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From January 2017: this title is also available as an open access PDF via the School of Advanced Study’s Humanities Digital Library.





Foreword - Ross McKibbin

Introduction - Laura Beers and Geraint Thomas 

Geraint Thomas - Political modernity and 'government' in the construction of inter-war democracy: local and national encounters

Gary Love - Whig questions, Conservative answers: the literary adventures of Sir J. A. R. Marriott

Daniel Ussishkin - The 'Will to Work': industrial management and the question of conduct in inter-war Britain

Adrian Bingham - Representing the people? The Daily Mirror, class and political culture in inter-war Britain

Laura Beers - 'A timid disbelief in the equality to which lip-service is constantly paid': gender, politics and the press between the wars

Lucy Delap - Conservative values, Anglicans and the gender order in inter-war Britain

Ellen Boucher - Cultivating internationalism: Save the Children Fund, public opinion and the meaning of child relief, 1919-24

Tamson Pietsch - 'Mending a broken world': the universities and the nation, 1918-36 

Priya Satia - Inter-war agnotology: empire, democracy and the production of ignorance

Marc Matera - Black intellectuals in the imperial metropolis and the debate over race and empire in Sanders of the River

Aaron Windel - Co-operatives and the technocrats, or 'the Fabian agony' revisited