October 04, 2004

The Heritage of the Great War is dedicated to the events and consequences of World War One. We put some emphasis on unorthodox and thought-provoking points of view. We are averse to historicism and military fetishism. And we show people rather than strategic plans or statistics. To this end this website features one of the most extensive and explicit WW-1 photo collections on the Internet. [nsfw]
  • What do they mean by "historicism" - as far as I knew, that was a style of literary criticism which takes into account the historical environment.... yeah, so I don't really get that part - but this is a powerful site.
  • This is an excellent site, and have bookmarked it. Some astonishing photos and fascinating anecdotes. [banana!] jb, far as I can make out online, historicism seems to be a word in flux, a word perhaps awaiting a genaral defintion. One field (linguistics)assigns it one meaning, still another (psychiatry) assigns it another. Re the field of literature [according toThe New Princeton Encyclopedia of Poetry and Poetics] -- "a branch of historiography -- the practices of the historian's art and science -- queries the ways in which historians living at a given time and place may legitimately study the history of human actions occurring at another time and place."
  • Thank you, bees. I'm not really that much clearer on what they mean, but as you say, there are many definitions of the word. The OED gave me these (not exhaustive):
    1. The attempt, found esp. among German historians since about 1850, to view all social and cultural phenomena, all categories, truths, and values, as relative and historically determined, and in consequence to be understood only by examining their historical context, in complete detachment from present-day attitudes. 2. A tendency in philosophy to see historical development as the most fundamental aspect of human existence, and historical thinking as the most important type of thought, because of its interest in the concrete, unique, and individual. 3. The belief that historical change occurs in accordance with laws, so that the course of history may be predicted but cannot be altered by human will; the resulting attitude to the social sciences, of regarding them as concerned mainly with historical prediction. 4. Excessive regard for the institutions and values of the past; spec.] in Architecture, the use of historical styles in design.
    I wonder if perhaps they meant "antiquarian" - which some historians use to mean being interested in the past as hobby, seeing it as something quaint and/or nostalgically. But I'm not sure. I think they are much to quick to dismiss those interested in the military as "military fetishists". That assumes that all who have such an interest have a perverted one, such as loving war, and military buffs are not like that (There may be some, but to assume all would be like thinking all adult Disney fans have immoral thoughts about Daisy). Often, they have a much better idea of the reality of war than most civilians, since they spend time reading about it. My fiance was a navy buff - now he is a naval historian. He can tell you things about war that will make you shiver; what he doesn't tell you (that he has had to read about for classes) would make most retch. Certainly, they may wish their site to focus on the social or political history of the war, as opposed to the military, which is a good idea, but they should be a little less swayed by stereotypes. rant done - on with moving historical images.
  • Afraid I'm still pondering the nature of military fetishism and what, exactly, this might consist of. Wot is the Object of a fetishist's affections in such a case? K-rations? Campaign medals? Live dangerously -- love a hand-grenade with a Loose Pin? I'm so lost!
  • and in consequence to be understood only by examining their historical context, in complete detachment from present-day attitudes. Well, there's your answer.
  • so many soldiers....powerful, powerful site. thank you rxreed. I bookmarked it too. I've read a few books about the Great War, but none had so many pictures of long lines of soldires. Brings it home in a different way. Can't wait to read why america should have stayed out of it but that'll have to wait for another day.
  • Nice site. There are a number of ramifications of WWI that are essential in understanding recent history. A good find. Surely this "geocities.com" domain must be a treasure trove of worthy and thought-provoking content!
  • er, ah, that shoulda been: see also Rosebud's WW1 and early aviation image archive.
  • In case you've never watched it, All's Quiet on the Western Front can give you an unforgetable idea of what WWI was like. It may not have been any more horrible than more recent wars, but I think it was one the last of the "personal" wars. Really, you should see it if you haven't.
  • neato link mwhybark.
  • Perhaps so, Wolof, but I still don't know why they don't like it.
  • Presumably the aim is that the present-day observer can't just dismiss what they see as old stuff that happened as a result of some completely specific and long-passed evenemential confluence.
  • Ah, I see what you mean. I don't know is that is how I would have interpreted the OED definition, but I don't know anything about that school of history. I had thought it meant trying to understand the past on its own terms, without anachronistic categories, etc. Thanks for clearing that up :)
  • beeswacky: I tend to think of miiltary fetishists as people who either (a) collect creepy stuf like Nazi memrobilia, or (b) have archetypally teenage boy type fixations on the gadgetry of war.
  • Interesting site, i'll have to remember to return there when I have more time.
  • Excellent find. Me, I'd like to read Trotsky's WWI reportage -- I have his Balkan Wars book and found it frighteningly relevant during the ex-Yugoslavia wars of the '90s. Too bad he gave up war correspondence for revolution.
  • ...teenage boy type fixations on the gadgetry of war Hmm. Magical thinking/associations about objects used in military context, then. Interesting. Bizarre. Thanks, rodgerd. I'm thinking pre0teenaged youngsters of my generation (North American context) perhaps had a collective fetixh about toting six-shooters (=cap pistols) on our hips -- playing cowboys was what we often did in the early years. Mine may have been the last generation with freedom to play old fashioned, almost entirely-unsupervised-by-adult types of kids' games (marbles, mumbledy-peg, Red Rover, Prisoners' Base etc). Such ingrates: we didn't realize how lucky we were in that respect.
  • I'm trying to remember what games we girls played when bees and I were growing up, more or less at the same time, besides "house" and "doctor." (Well, not THAT doctor, just one that involved taking care of people.) Tag and hopscotch are about the only ones that involved others that I can think of right now. Oh, and chasing cute boys in the third grade when the boys weren't willing to be caught. Girls talked to each other, at length. The differences are interesting. Off topic, but bees started it!
  • I am a bad bee. Again. *Jumps up and down on his dunce's cap*
  • You had a dunce cap? Well, you didn't need it. And, these threads take on a life of their own, so this'll go where it's supposed to.
  • new stuff up on the site 'What If the Dead came Back' thirty years later? If anyone can find an entire copy of the play please let me know. Exerpts are annoying.