Andrew Pettegree

Dec 1, 2023

The Book at War

Libraries and Readers in an Age of Conflict

Basic Books 2023

Chairman Mao was a librarian. Stalin was a published poet. Evelyn Waugh served as a commando - before leaving to write Brideshead Revisited. Since the advent of modern warfare, books have all too often found themselves on the frontline.

In The Book At War: Libraries and Readers in an Age of Conflict (Basic Books, 2023), acclaimed historian Dr. Andrew Pettegree traces the surprising ways in which written culture - from travel guides and scientific papers to Biggles and Anne Frank - has shaped, and been shaped, by the conflicts of the modern age.

From the American Civil War to the invasion of Ukraine, books, authors and readers have gone to war - and in the process become both deadly weapons and our most persuasive arguments for peace.

This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose forthcoming book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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Miranda Melcher

Miranda Melcher (Ph.D., Defense Studies, Kings College, London) studies post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with deep analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.

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