Food and Conflict in Europe in the Age of the Two World Wars by Edited by Flemming Just Edited by Frank Trentmann

By Edited by Flemming Just Edited by Frank Trentmann

Ranging throughout Europe, from Scandinavia and Britain to Germany, Italy and the Soviet Union, this quantity explores the political, monetary, and cultural dynamics that formed conflicts over foodstuff within the age of the 2 international wars.

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50 Such economic arguments for stabilisation were embedded in a broader political project of civic renewal, in which international coordination replaced the more centralised forms of power of the nation-state. A leading exponent of this project was Alfred Zimmern. A prominent English ancient historian and public intellectual, Zimmern joined the British state and advised on foreign policy during the war, and later directed the International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation in Paris and advised the League.

But the committee also continued to run up against the suspicion of being a sectional or self-centred interest, denounced by many producer interests or excluded from local government by magistrates. As even Robert Schloesser, a leading advocate of consumer representation, concluded in 1917, a shared consumer identity was still underdeveloped: to-day it is primarily material factors which keep the consciousness awake: ideals need to be added. 36 Outside the consumer committee, in the streets of Berlin during and after the war, frustrated housewives and shoppers revealed just how low the degree of trust was between groups.

But it was part and parcel of a much larger transnational dynamic which moved intermediate organisations and international politics closer together in discussions of food and public health. The growing reciprocal influence between civil society and domestic social reform with internationalism and international food politics was no coincidence. Salter, Zimmern, Lloyd, and others had been socialised in the settlement house of Toynbee Hall and retained close contacts with social movements. Internationally, the immediate post-war years saw an expansion of national and international intermediate organisations coordinating relief, such as the Commonwealth Fund active in Central Europe, the Rockefeller Foundation and, most notably, the American Relief Administration (ARA);53 Lloyd’s study on state controls was commissioned by the Carnegie Foundation.

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