Chapter 16: Abstract

War and Gender: The Age of the World Wars and its Aftermath—An Overview

Karen Hagemann (UNC–Chapel Hill, Department of History) and Sonya O. Rose (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor and Birkbeck)


The chapter offers a broad overview of the history of warfare in the Age of the World Wars. In the first part it considers the concept of “total war” and its usefulness for gender history. Then it describes some general trends in the development of warfare during the first half of the twentieth century to provide the historical context for the more detailed analysis of the nine chapters in this third part of the handbook. In the third part, the chapter interprets this general development from a gender perspective and explores some of the major themes of a gender history of military of war in the Age of the World Wars.


First World War; Second World War; Genocide; Holocaust; Total War; Imperial Wars; Wars of Decolonization; Cold War; Industrialized Mass Warfare; Gender; Women; Men; Masculinity; Age of World Wars.

In Part III: "The Age of the World Wars" of the Oxford Handbook of Gender and War since 1600.

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