My name is Marc Mulholland. I am a Fellow (lecturer and tutor) in the History Faculty of Oxford University. My College is St Catherine's. I come from Ireland.

This is a blog relating to my book published in 2012 by Oxford University Press, Bourgeois Liberty and the Politics of Fear: From Absolutism to Neo-Conservativism.
Now on sale here and here. If you want 20 per cent off the price, I can arrange that! Send me a message or leave a comment, and I'll tell you how.

The thesis my book is examining was rather pithily summarised by Leon Trotsky in 1939: "Wherever the proletariat appeared as an independent force, the bourgeoisie shifted to the camp of the counter-revolution. The bolder the struggle of the masses, the quicker the reactionary transformation of liberalism." [Context is here]

However, my book isn't a defence of Trotskyism, or indeed any particular ideology. It's a study of an idea that took shape in Left, Right, and Centre variations.

This blog has tid-bits not included in the book, and other thoughts that occur.

You can see book details at the
OUP website.

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Richard Overy on Bombing

Richard Overy, whose work I enormously admire, has an article on the RAF's WWII Bomber Command campaign up on CIF. Overy balances very nimbly between honouring the heroism of the men who took huge and usually fatal risks in fighting a terrible enemy, and acknowleding the immorality of a strategy that aimed to kill German civilians qua German civilians.

In my Bourgeois Liberty, I counterpose the Anglo-American model of warfare - massive accumulations of materiel providing substantial force-protection for a citizen army - to the German-Japanese model of hyper-militarisation generating an exceptionally able (and brutalized) combat-soldiery. The story of Bomber Command reminds us that 'democratic warfare' itself can expose a vanguard of its military personel to terrible odds, and that highly technologised warfare can end up replacing face-to-face brutalization with arms' length de-humanization.

Overy will have a new book out on the Bombing Campaign in 2013. I heard him deliver a talk on the subject at Oxford a year ago (he's an excellent lecturer and discussant). It will be, I anticipate, a profoundly important work.

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