Telling tales about men

Conceptions of conscientious objectors to military service during the First World War

By Lois S. Bibbings

Telling tales about men


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-6922-2
  • Pages: 272
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: November 2009
  • BIC Category: History, United Kingdom, Great Britain, First World War, European history, c 1910 to c 1919, HISTORY / Social History, HISTORY / Europe / Great Britain, Humanities / Social & cultural history, Humanities / First World War


*Telling tales about men* explores some of the ways in which conscientious objectors to compulsory military service were viewed and treated in England during the First World War. In doing so it considers these men's experiences, their beliefs, perceptions and actions.

Each of the six main chapters explores a different collection of ideas about objectors. Thus, they are, for example, portrayed as cowards, heroes, traitors, patriots, criminals, deviants, degenerates and upstanding, intensely moral men. Here the tales told draw upon sources ranging from diaries, government papers, tribunal records, newspapers, magazines and novels and are informed by writings from fields including literary studies, criminology, sociology and law as well as various branches of historical studies.

*Telling tales about men* is essential reading for scholars in the fields of the First World War, pacifism, militarism and gender. It is also aimed at those with a general interest in the Great War and the military as well as in peace movements and pacifism.


List of illustrations
1. 'Despised and Rejected'
2. Of cowards, shirkers and 'unmen'
3. Deviance: degeneracy, decadence and criminality
4. The 'national danger'
5. Conscientious objectors
6. Patriots and heroes
Select bibliography


Lois Bibbings is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Law and an Honorary Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics and Medicine at the University of Bristol

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