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The Christmas TruceMyth, Memory, and the First World War$
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Terri Blom Crocker

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780813166155

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: May 2016

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813166155.001.0001

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“The Legendary Christmas Truce”

“The Legendary Christmas Truce”

The First World War, the Christmas Truce, and Social History, 1970–1989

Chapter:
(p.175) 9 “The Legendary Christmas Truce”
Source:
The Christmas Truce
Author(s):

Terri Blom Crocker

Publisher:
University Press of Kentucky
DOI:10.5810/kentucky/9780813166155.003.0009

By 1970 the orthodox narrative of the “senseless” First World War was so firmly entrenched that it permeated all works on the subject during this time, which consistently maintained that the Christmas truce proved that the British soldiers who served on the Western Front would have preferred to make peace with the Germans rather than fight them. Veterans of the war who were interviewed after 1970 increasingly subscribed to these myths of the truce, proving the dominance of the war’s conventional narrative for even those who had participated in the event, and demonstrating the new emphasis on social history, wherein the words of participants are used to prove a narrative. This chapter ends with the ultimate manifestation of the First World War in popular culture, the television series Blackadder Goes Forth, which featured the truce in its final episode.

Keywords:   Christmas truce, Social history, Paul Fussell, Blackadder Goes Forth, Veterans of the First World War

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