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Germany and Propaganda in World War I: Pacifism, Mobilization and Total War

Germany and Propaganda in World War I: Pacifism, Mobilization and Total War
David Welch

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Adolf Hitler, writing in Mein Kampf, was scathing in his condemnation of German propaganda in World War I, declaring that Germany failed to recognise that the mobilization of public opinion was a weapon of the first order. This, despite the fact that propaganda had been regarded by the German leadership, arguably for the first time, as an intrinsic part of the war effort. In this book, David Welch fully examines German society - politics, propaganda, public opinion and total war - in the Great War. Drawing on a wide range of sources - posters, newspapers, journals, film, Parliamentary debates, police and military reports and private papers - he argues that the moral collapse of Germany was due less to the failure to disseminate propaganda than to the inability of the military authorities and the Kaiser to reinforce this propaganda, and to acknowledge the importance of public opinion in forging an effective link between leadership and the people.

Author Info

David Welch is Professor of Modern History and Director of the Centre for the Study of War, Propaganda and Society at University of Kent, UK. His publications include Propaganda, Power and Persuasion: From the First World War to WikiLeaks; War and the Media: The Changing Context of Reportage and Propaganda, 1900-2003; Propaganda and the German Cinema, 1933-1945 (all I.B.Tauris).


‘This is the most important book about German information policy, including censorship, 1914-18, ever written. David Welch has written a brilliant book about the uses of propaganda by Germany in World War I to instruct, uplift and control domestic opinion in a time of total war.’
David Culbert, Professor of History, Louisiana State University

‘...throws fresh light not only on the propaganda history of the Great War, but also on why the German people were able and willing to sustain their support for their government’s war effort. David Welch has made yet another significant contribution to the history of the Twentieth Century – the people’s century, the century of total war and of the communications revolution.’
Philip M. Taylor (1954-2010), Professor of International Communications, University of Leeds

‘...its contribution to the growing historiography of the First World War and its social, cultural and intellectual impact is clear. This book will appeal to general readers in European history as well as specialists in German history or the First World War and is now among the important works dealing with the origins of propaganda as a factor in modern politics.’
Vejas Liulevicius, Journal of Modern History

‘...[an] extraordinarily wide-ranging, intelligent and authoritative outstanding piece of historical scholarship. Throughout the book,  Welch sustains a complex and subtle analysis that provides his readers with an entirely new understanding of both the devastating German experience of the First World War on the home front and the ill-considered domestic policies that were, to such a large extent, responsible for their experience.’
Nicholas Reeves, Historical Journal of Film, Radio and Television

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.

ISBN: 9781780768274
Publication Date: 24 Jun 2014
Number of Pages: 384
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: 43 bw integrated

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