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Interwar Agnotology: Empire, Democracy and the Production of Ignorance

Front Cover of Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic
Institute of Historical Research
May 2012

“Interwar Agnotology: Empire, Democracy and the Production of Ignorance,” in Laura Beers and Geraint Thomas, eds., Brave New World: Imperial and Democratic Nation-building in Britain between the Wars.  London: Institute of Historical Studies, 2012.

Summary of Brave New World:

After WWI, Britain faced a number of challenges as it sought to adapt to domestic conditions of mass democracy whilst maintaining its position in the empire in the face of national independence movements. As politicians at home and abroad sought to legitimise their position, new efforts were made to conceptualise nationality and citizenship, with attempts to engage the public using mass media and greater emphasis on governing in the public interest.

Brave New World reappraises the domestic and imperial history of Britain in the inter-war period, investigating how ‘nation building’ was given renewed impetus by the upheavals of the First World War. The essays in this collection address how new technologies and approaches to governance were used to forge new national identities both at home and in the empire, covering a wide range of issues from the representation of empire on film to the convergence of politics and ‘star culture’.

The book is an invaluable resource for scholars of British social, political and imperial history, as well as being of interest to the general reader.