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Art and the Second World War

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Table of Contents

Introduction 6 1 Civil War in Spain 1936-9: 'The First Battle of World War II' 14 2 Art in the Democracies: Great Britain 32 3 Art in the Democracies: the Commonwealth 56 4 Art in the Democracies: the USA 76 5 'France, Once the Haven of Exiles': Victim or Collaborator? 104 6 Art under the Dictators: Russia's Great Patriotic War 126 7 'Imperfect Totalitarianism': Art andn War in Fascist Italy 150 8 Art under the Dictators: Nazi War Art Reassessed 172 9 Art of the Holocaust: Creativity in Extremis 190 10 Bitter Victory: China's War of Resistance against Japan, 1937-45 212 11 Japan's Holy War, 1931-45 226 12 Endgame: Hiroshima and Nagasaki 224 Notes 262 Chronology of Key Events 275 Select Bibliography 277 Acknowledgements 283 Picture Credits 283 Index 284

About the Author

Monica Bohm-Duchen is an independent writer, lecturer, and curator. Based in London, she has worked for such leading institutions as the Tate, the National Gallery, and the Royal Academy of Arts. Her many books include "After Auschwitz: Responses to the Holocaust in Contemporary Art". She teaches a course on art and war at Birkbeck, University of London, and at New York University in London.


One of Choice's Outstanding Academic Titles for 2014 "[D]isturbingly attractive."--Sarah Harrison Smith, New York Times Book Review "In this well-researched, clear-eyed assessment of art's relationship to the war that 'has left the darkest and most indelible mark on modern society,' Bohm-Duchen (After Auschwitz) presents a sobering overview of the official and nonofficial fine art produced in warring nations... [T]he book is particularly impressive for the obscure work it covers... Bohm-Duchen punctuates the narrative with astute insights... Brimming with chilling full-color images, this handsome volume reaffirms the importance of WWII in relation to the fine arts."--Publishers Weekly "Independent scholar Bohm-Duchen delivers a powerful global history of WWII in a wide range of visual culture and art, from photographs and propaganda posters to drawings, fine art prints, and to a lesser extent, sculpture. The author does not gloss over the problematic nature of art related to the atrocities of war, including the aestheticizing of violence, the role of censorship in shaping history, and the uneasy parallel development of modernism... With clear, accessible prose and high-quality images, this book is indispensable for both university and museum collections."--Choice "Monica Bohm-Duchen's wide-ranging study of art and the Second World War is a powerful account of the enduring power of artistic images to go beyond photography in making us think about war. Here is an indispensable global history of art and artists in the crucible of the 1939-45 war."--Jay Winter, Charles J. Stille Professor of History, Yale University "[A] solid and highly readable guide."--Telegraph "It is no exaggeration to say that this book is a landmark... The author must be both congratulated and thanked for giving us such a remarkable panorama. This magnum opus must be in all Art School, University and Public Libraries--and it would also make an excellent present for anyone interested in the Second World War in all its complex aspects."--Cercles "A far-reaching overview of the artistic response to the conflict, from the preludial Spanish Civil War to the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan."--Galleries Magazine "Well illustrated, extensively researched and highly approachable."--Galleries Magazine "This is a book about war art. The images speak. Sometimes they scream. Yet, this coffee table size book deceives the reader into privileging the image over the text when the text itself is so compelling."--Erica Brown, Jewish Quarterly "Monica Bohm-Duchen has produced a carefully crafted book as valuable as it is disturbing."--Donald Lateiner, Michigan War Studies Review

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