Letter: Social consequences of the Great War

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The Independent Online
Sir: In his bold challenge to myths about the social consequences of the Great War ('When the men came home', 12 November), Gerald de Groot is about 30 years behind the times.

My The Deluge: British Society and the First World War, published in 1965, and continuously in print ever since, provided a precise assessment of what changed and what did not. Because this book launched a generation of war-and-society studies, those who prefer inventing myths so that they can attack them, to grasping a complex analysis, chose to represent it as attributing all subsequent change to the war.

Really there are no excuses: the long introduction to the new edition of The Deluge, published a couple of years ago, spells out the profound problems of historical explanation which lie in the way of jumping to facile conclusions either way.

Yours faithfully,


London, NW3

13 November