National Myth and the First World War

  • Peter Grant
Part of the Palgrave Studies in the History of Subcultures and Popular Music book series (PSHSPM)


Introduces Anderson’s concept of ‘imagined communities’ and nationalism in relation to the First World War. Briefly looks at nationalism in music and introduces Lipsitz’s important concept (adapted from Bakhtin) that popular music is dialogical.

Outlines what myth is in modern society (utilising Barthes and others theorists), how they operate and why they are not simple lies or distortions. Suggests artistic works (including songs) can take three approaches to myth: affirming, shaping and reshaping. Undertakes a general survey of myths relating to the First World War and discusses the increasingly transnational nature of some myths, notably those of war as trauma and soldiers as victims.

Takes a closer look at the specific myths of the First World War in Britain, Ireland, France, Germany, Australia, Canada and the USA.


Popular Culture Popular Music Popular Song British Soldier Popular Myth 
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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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Grant
    • 1
  1. 1.Cass Business SchoolCity University of LondonLondonUK

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