‘Brutalised’ veterans and tragic anti-heroes: Masculinity, crime and post-war trauma in Boardwalk empire and Peaky Blinders

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

One of the enduring tropes from the end of the First World War is the notion of the ‘damaged’ man returning from the front, unable to re-enter civil society and drawn to the worlds of organised crime, violence and political extremism. The attraction of the alienated demobilised soldier to the criminal underworld or to political violence was something feared by many across the Western world and has continued to shape how we see the returned soldier in the socio-economic and political chaos that plagued the inter-war period. The mechanised brutality of the war had upended the social order across the globe and in the economic and political vacuum that emerged at the end of the war, these ‘damaged’ men (supposedly) stepped forward to stake a claim.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Great War and the British Empire
Subtitle of host publicationCulture and Society
EditorsMichael J.K. Walsh, Andrekos Varnava
PublisherTaylor and Francis Group
Chapter16
Pages279-289
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781315557502
ISBN (Print)9781472462275
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • First World War
  • Veterans
  • post-war trauma
  • Organized crime
  • Violence

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