“The Light of History”: Scholarship and officialdom in the era of the First World War

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This analysis examines the interplay between academia and officialdom during the First World War and its immediate aftermath. The role of more especially historians prior to and during the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 and the degree to which they succeeded —or failed—to affect decision making have been examined in some considerable detail by recent scholarship. Far less attention has been paid to the impact of individual historians’ experience of employment in war-time government agencies on their post-war scholarly pursuits. The effect of the war on historical scholarship, in fact,was profound. Not the least, it stimulated the establishment of diplomatic history as a distinct field of academic research and the emergence of the nascent discipline of international relations led by scholars who had served in wartime intelligence.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-287
Number of pages25
JournalDiplomacy and Statecraft
Issue number2
Early online date28 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

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