The introduction makes the case that 1919 is an exceptional year and that there is a need to re-examine this year as a contest threshold of peace that neither of the two traditional historiographical approaches—the high political approach centred on Versailles peace-making nor the challenge of labour—adequately capture. The introduction surveys new trends in the historical literature and makes the case for the profound distinctiveness of this year both in terms of the chosen themselves of the book namely global contestation from below along gender, class and colour lines and in wider contexts as well not least in the worlds of science, the arts and epidemiologically in terms of the ‘Spanish Flu’.
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