chapter
24 Pages

Introduction

Munich, Manchester, and the Demobilization of Europe, 1917–21

This introduction presents an overview of key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book argues more nuanced understanding of the relationship between armed combat and the history of European society in the age of mass industrial war. Demobilization is a set of processes that bridge the chasm between 'wartime' and 'postwar', effectively extending the lived experience of societies at war beyond the conclusion of hostilities and the diplomatic agreements that periodize warfare in the historical consciousness. Munich and Manchester were and are regional political and economic centers, geographically removed from their national capitals and offering counterweights to the power of the national state. The book provides background material on the two cities under discussion and a broad overview of European urbanism in the early twentieth century. It outlines the problems of economic mobilization, food distribution, popular culture at war, and evolving debates over the postwar future in both cities.