The disarmament of hatred – France and Germany between the two world wars

Gearoid Barry Book launch Photograph by Aengus McMahon

In case you missed it, you can listen back here to our very own Gearóid Barry being interviewed by Patrick Geoghegan of Newstalk on the station’s Talking History show on 19 May 2013. The piece begins about 15 minutes in.

Gearóid is pictured above with John Horne, professor of Modern European History at Trinity College Dublin, who performed the  launch of his new book The Disarmament of Hatred: Marc Sangnier, French Catholicism and the Legacy of the First World War, 1914-45 (Palgrave Macmillan, 2012) at the Moore Institute last autumn. Professor Horne, formerly Gearóid’s doctoral supervisor, spoke of his pleasure in returning to visit NUI Galway and said of the book that it illuminated a remarkable Franco-German peace movement instigated in 1921 by war veteran and French Catholic politician Marc Sangnier. Barry’s transnational study examines the European resonance of Sangnier’s Peace Congresses in the interwar period. Advocating the ‘disarmament of hatred’, this movement – with its staged reconciliation and crossing of borders – aroused both hope and hostility in the aftermath of the First World War.  Mining a variety of sources, both known and new, this book considers the Peace Congresses’ surprising appeal and its political ecumenism (embracing Quakers, secularists, socialists and the pope) while reconfiguring the transnational histories of youth movements, women’s peace activism and Christian Democracy.  Examining also the excruciating new choices between peace and appeasement in the France and Europe of the 1930s, this story casts new light on key questions in European history in the era of two World Wars.

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