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Program in British Studies

John Gooch, 'Pyrrhic Victory? England and the Great War'

Fri, November 13, 2009 | Tom Lea Rooms, HRC 3.206

3:00 PM

The theme of 'Pyrrhic Victory' concerns itself first and foremost with popular remembrance of slaughter, waste, futility, and purposelessness.  How did the idea of 'Lions led by Donkeys' become embedded in the historical literature and the literary imagination?  In recent years there has been a revolution in historical thinking about command, strategy, and commanders.  A critical assessment of England and the Great War must finally include the question of national identity as well as military efficiency, and the evolution of the methods that eventually manifested themselves in the Second World War.

John Gooch is Professor of International History at the University of Leeds.  He was educated at King's College, University of London, where he took a First in History and a Ph.D. in War Studies.  He has published over a dozen books, including Military Misfortunes: The Anatomy of Failure in War (with Eliot Cohen), and most recently Mussolini and His Generals: The Armed Forces and Fascist Foreign Policy, 1922-1940.  He is presently completing a survey of war in the twentieth century and a study of Italy in the First World War.

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