ABSTRACT / War and human society have been intimately linked throughout history. This lecture looks at the ways that social changes in the 19th and 20th centuries affected the move to total war and how, in turn, the experience of two World Wars brought change in society. Paradoxically war threatened the open society but in certain ways it also strengthened it.
Reception to follow.
BIO / Margaret MacMillan is a Professor of History at the University of Toronto. She is the former Warden of St. Antony's College at the University of Oxford and former Provost of Trinity College of the University of Toronto. Her books include Women of the Raj (1988, 2007); Paris 1919: Six Months that Changed the World (2001) for which she was the first woman to win the Samuel Johnson Prize; Nixon in China: Six Days that Changed the World; The Uses and Abuses of History (2008); and Extraordinary Canadians: Stephen Leacock (2009). Her most recent book is The War that Ended Peace, A narrative on the build-up to World War I, named among the best books of the year by major publications as the New York Times and the Economist. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and a Senior Fellow of Massey College, University of Toronto, Honorary Fellow of Trinity College, University of Toronto and of St Hilda’s College, University of Oxford, and sits on the boards of the Mosaic Institute and the editorial boards of International History and First World War Studies. She is also a Trustee of the Rhodes Trust.