Adrian Gregory Last Great War Analysis

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Adrian Gregory 's "The Last Great War" is a convincing attempt to challenge popular and historical memory of World War 1. Gregory opens by explaining the popular perception of World War 1 as being "stupid, tragic and futile". Increasingly, the British have renounced World War 1, describing it as being "... An apocalyptic fall from grace... The definitive bad war". This is sharply contrasted to World War 2, which, in British memory, holds the iconic position as "the good war". In retrospect, it incredibly easy to justify World War 2. The idea of war is considered evil, however, the evils of war pale in comparison to atrocities committed by the Nazi regime. Gregory states that "It is an inconvenient truth that the Second World War, like the First, was cripplingly expensive, bloody, and frequently mismanaged". However, it is "sanitized and romanticized in order to lessen the lesser evil". Whereas the First World War was considered a failure because it could not prevent a second conflict with Germany a mere twenty years later. Bell, in support of this point, writes that "... the failure of these sacrificed to maintain European peace made victory seem hollow". Gregory argues that there must be a reexamination of the popular attitudes towards the First World War during …show more content…
The popular interpretation is that "... British people went to war because they wanted to". Gregory argues against the idea of British society being strongly jingoistic and enthusiastic to go to war and instead describes a more mixed reaction. Leese describes the conflict as "... Seen as regrettable and uncertain in outcome... An intensely moral, perhaps even spiritual battle". British society did not enter the First World War with enthusiasm, but instead with begrudging acceptance of its necessity against the serious and unacceptable threat of German militarism and

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