My recommended First World War reading – from this selection of recommendations by socialists in Solidarity 347, 10 December 2014.
The Home Front by Sylvia Pankhurst
We are less than half a year into four years of commemoration of the centenary of the Great War, a sanitised celebration which glorifies and justifies the war. There will be some mention of the terrible sufferings of the men in the trenches, but little of the appalling hardships imposed on the people on the “home front”.
Sylvia Pankhurst’s book, first published in 1932, tells the brutal truth about the women who struggled to raise families with no welfare state, the returning wounded soldiers abandoned by the government that sent them to war, the conscientious objectors who faced the most severe of punishments for refusing to go along with it. Keep alive their memory, and see how the British ruling class was not their champion but their enemy at home.