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‘Anyway Let’s Have Peace:’ Women’s Expressions of Opinion on Appeasement

  • Julie V. Gottlieb

Abstract

From across the political spectrum the agents of civil society were keen to speak for British womanhood, some with good intentions to voice their sex-based concerns, others to mock women’s alleged collective pusillanimity as part of a satirical subversion of the National Government’s foreign policy. Were these caricatures fair representations of British women’s opinion and their reactions to the Munich Crisis? How can we hope to access women’s intimate feelings as they faced another war? The thoughts and deeds of the more prominent ‘Guilty’ or ‘Innocent’ women are accessible to historians through their published material, in media coverage, and in carefully archived private papers. Those of the British ‘woman on the street,’ are less readily apparent. However, we are fortunate that two rich archives, Mass-Observation (M-O) and the so-called Crisis Letters which form part of the Neville Chamberlain papers contain women’s confessional sources, and individualized qualitative material that complements but also fine tunes the quantitative finding of the social researchers.1

Keywords

Public Opinion Prime Minister Foreign Policy Foreign Affair Letter Writing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    See Murray Goot, “Mass-Observation and Modern Public Opinion Research,” in Wolfgang Donsbach and Michael Traugott (eds.), The SAGE Handbook of Public Opinion Research (London, 2008), pp. 93–103, for a comparative study of the ethos, methods, and definition of ‘public opinion’ of Gallup and Mass-Observation.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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Copyright information

© Julie V. Gottlieb 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Julie V. Gottlieb
    • 1
  1. 1.University of SheffieldUK

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