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How the "Great War" Began


[Introduction to The Myth of a Guilty Nation]

Albert Jay Nock wrote one of the first American books of World War I Revisionism — revising the received story of why WWI began. As a lover of history, what I find particularly fascinating about his book The Myth of a Guilty Nation is not whether this is the best explanation for WWI. What is fascinating is the great contrast Nock makes between two wholly different views of the origin of the war. What "everyone knew" about the origins of The Great War at the time is quite different from what "everyone knows" now.

The common American notion was that Germany was responsible for the war. No less a personage than David Lloyd George declared,

What are we fighting for? To defeat the most dangerous conspiracy ever plotted against the liberty of nations; carefully, skilfully, insidiously, clandestinely planned in every detail, with ruthless, cynical determination.


2 Comments in Response to

Comment by David Jackson
Entered on:

    Why do people always reference the truth as "revisionism"? How about the "exposing of the perversion of history by the powers that be"? To imply that the eventual telling of the truth is "revisionist" gives credibility to the original and blatant lie that preceded it. Personally, I don't give a damn if the self-serviing, sub-human ofal who lied in the first place are offended! If they were living, drawing-and-quartering would be to good for them!

    I'd tell all of them, and anyone else within earshot, exactly what I think of the ludicrous concept of "political correctness", if this wasn't a family site.



Comment by Robert Bilyeu
Entered on:

perception vs reality.  perception trumps reality for many reasons, it is easier to accept, we like to have our ears tickled, the winner always get to write the history and we are really not interested in searching for truth, we may not find ourselves completely blameless.

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