Current History: Legacies of 1914

Current History, the 100-year-old publication devoted to independent analysis of contemporary international affairs, presents its November 2014 issue, a special issue titled “Legacies of 1914.” For more information—or to subscribe and gain instant online access to the current issue and our full archives of articles—please visit our website:

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Our November issue includes the following essays:

The Global Legacies of World War I
by John Horne (Trinity College Dublin)
The Great War brought new forms of industrialized violence, civilian suffering, radical politics, and world order. Understanding its legacies requires a global perspective.

Rediscovering Internationalism
by Glenda Sluga (University of Sydney)
Visions of international cooperation culminated after World War I in the League of Nations. Yet internationalism in practice has always been constrained by the competing force of nationalism.

The Many Meanings of National Self-Determination
by Brad Simpson (University of Connecticut)
In 1919, Woodrow Wilson embraced the principle of nationality—but only for Europeans. Debate has continued ever since over who is entitled to nationhood, and what rights it should entail.

Genocidal Legacies of the Great War
by Mark Levene (University of Southampton)
World War I catalyzed a century of genocides. The manipulation of ethnic groups by great powers during the war weakened minority rights and led to several massacres seldom remembered today.

The Economic Consequences of the War and the Peace
by Patricia Clavin (University of Oxford)
Total war produced a new political economy: As states demanded more from their citizens, the people also expected their governments to provide more economic security.

Perspective: Contingency and Catastrophe
by Sean McMeekin (Bard College)
Drawing analogies between the global political situation in 1914 and the present misses the point: From its outbreak to its conclusion, the Great War was defined by uncertainty and accident.

Books: Dawn of the Almighty Dollar
by Emily S. Rosenberg (University of California, Irvine)
A new book by Adam Tooze boldly seeks to revise the history of World War I and the interwar era. His focus on the rise of American financial power is apt, but overlooks the role of US politics.

Current History publishes nine times per year. Each month’s issue focuses on a single region or topic—including annual issues on China and East Asia, Russia and Eurasia, the Middle East, Latin America, South Asia, Europe, and Africa. At our website,, you can see the current monthly issue, search Current History’s archives, or download a free sample article from the current issue.