European Stamp Issues and the First World War: Fall of Empires, Rise of Nations (Hardback)David Parker (author)
Hardback Published: 09/10/2018
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European Stamp Issues and the First World War takes a new approach to the dramatic story of the continental empires and nations who became embroiled in the Great War that eventually transformed Europe and created a new patchwork of countries seething with jealousies and discontent. It does so using the unique perspectives provided by the philatelic images through which each nation projected its vision of itself through the ruling dynasties, military triumphs, breathtaking scenery, cultural achievements and technical advances it chose to highlight. During the uncertain and traumatic decades surrounding the Great War, nothing identified the aspirations and anxieties of a country more than its succession of stamp designs – some very dramatic, others subtle. Eye-catching few issues were powerful instruments of propaganda as well as revenue. In victory, stamps celebrated the acquisition of new territory, and in adversity they urged unity and promoted charities. From 1918 numerous stamps tracked the savage Red and White Russian Civil War. And, as the great empires collapsed, countries such as Czechoslovakia, Poland and the Baltic States emerged eager to promote their history, culture and independence. While many French and belgian stamps showed these war-torn nations nursing their recovery, issues in Germany highlighted how its post-war chaos hardened into a new national identity. And across the Balkans lengthy sets reflected the deep divisions within and between the Slav nations that preceded and long outlasted the First World War. This unparalleled book provides a fascinating portrait of the turbulent decades of the early twentieth century, revealed through miniature works of art that are in themselves important historical sources.
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