This book represents the first international investigation of military recruitment advertising, public relations and propaganda. Comprised of eleven case studies that explore mobilisation work in Africa, the Americas, Asia and Europe, it covers more than a hundred years of recent history, with chapters on the First and Second World Wars, the Cold War, and the present day.

The book explores such promotion in countries both large and small, and in times of both war and peace, with readers gaining an insight into the different strategies and tactics used to motivate men, women and occasionally even children to serve and fight in many parts of the world. Readers will also learn about the crucial but little-known role of commercial advertising, public relations and media professionals in the production and distribution of recruitment promotion. This book, the first of its kind to be published, will explore that role, and in the process address two questions that are central to studies of media and conflict: how do militaries encourage civilians to join up, and are they successful in doing so?

It is a multi-disciplinary project intended for a diverse academic audience, including postgraduate students exploring aspects of war, propaganda and public opinion, and researchers working across the domains of history, communications studies, conflict studies, psychology, and philosophy.

part I|83 pages

Recruitment in an era of total war

chapter 4|13 pages

National aspirations against war fatigue

Uses and mechanisms of mobilising propaganda in World War I Greece

chapter 5|14 pages

Winning the battle to lose the war

The Call to Arms recruiting campaign in Australia, 1916

chapter 6|21 pages

It takes a good woman to sell a good war

The use of women in World War I United States propaganda posters

chapter 7|18 pages

‘A place for everyone, and everyone must find the right place’

Recruitment to British civil defence, 1937–44

part II|46 pages

Recruitment at a Time of Cold War

chapter 8|14 pages

‘It’s like a good school, only better’

Recruiting boys to the British armed forces under the first Attlee government, 1946–50

chapter 9|14 pages

Eastern Europe’s reluctant soldiers

Recruitment to the armies of the Warsaw Pact, 1956–1991

chapter 10|16 pages

‘The Army just sees green’

Utopian meritocracy, diversity, and United States Army recruitment in the 1970s

part |16 pages


chapter 14|14 pages

Narratives of service, sacrifice and security

Reflecting on the legacy of military recruitment