05 October 2018

BOOK: James CROSSLAND, War, Law and Humanity : The Campaign to Control Warfare, 1853-1914 (London: Bloomsbury, 2018). ISBN 9781350041219, £59.50

(Source: Bloomsbury)

Bloomsbury is publishing a new book on the attempts to control warfare in the half-century before the outbreak of World War I.


War, Law and Humanity tells the story of the transatlantic campaign to either mitigate the destructive forces of the battlefield, or prevent wars from being waged altogether, in the decades prior to the disastrous summer of 1914. Starting with the Crimean War of the 1850s, James Crossland traces this campaign to control warfare from the scandalous barracks of Scutari to the shambolic hospitals of the American Civil War, from the bloody sieges of Paris and Erzurum to the combative conference halls of Geneva and The Hague, uncovering the intertwined histories of a generation of humanitarians, surgeons, pacifists and utopians who were shocked into action by the barbarism and depravities of war. By examining the fascinating personal accounts of these figures, Crossland illuminates the complex motivations and influential actions of those committed to the campaign to control war, demonstrating how their labours built the foundation for the ideas – enshrined in our own times as international norms – that soldiers need caring for, weapons need restricting and wars need rules.


James Crossland is Senior Lecturer in International History at Liverpool John Moores University, UK. He is the author of Britain and the International Committee of the Red Cross, 1939-1945 (2014), the first study of Britain's humanitarian policy during the Second World War. He has published widely on the history of wartime humanitarianism, international law and the Red Cross movement.


List of Figures
Dramatis Personae
Introduction – A Time for Angels
1. The Crimean Crucible
2. Citizen-Humanitarians
3. The Union Way
4. Visions from Geneva
5. How Best to Serve the Suffering?
6. When Angels Go to War
7. Humanity and Necessity
8. The Sound of Drums
9. Enter the Peace-Seekers
10. Regulations for Apocalypse
Conclusion – 1914: The Campaign Ends?

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