Identifying patterns

The benefits of joint authorship
by
March 2021, no. 429
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The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century: A comparative history by Martin Crotty, Neil J. Diamant, and Mark Edele

Cornell University Press, US$35 hb, 231 pp

Identifying patterns

The benefits of joint authorship
by
March 2021, no. 429

Comparison, when it comes to historical study, is rarely devoid of ambition. The aim is to identify patterns that are global in their significance and to overcome the tendency to see a unique trajectory for particular places or nations. Yet such work frequently founders when it becomes apparent that the author’s knowledge of alternative cases is thin or that the claim to comparison is made to hide a focus that is in fact quite narrow. Not so in this co-authored book, which builds upon its three authors’ areas of expertise – the Anglosphere (Martin Crotty), Asia (Neil J. Diamant), and Europe (Mark Edele) – to deliver a compelling argument about veteran benefits in the twentieth century.

The authors faced an extraordinary challenge. Their mission was to account for why states awarded, or denied, benefits to veterans who participated in the twentieth century’s major conflicts, with a focus on the two world wars. The task was one of scale and discipline: Crotty and Edele are historians, Diamant is a political scientist. The major case studies concentrate on Australia, the United States, the Soviet Union, and China, with reference throughout to developments in the United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, and Taiwan.

Christina Twomey reviews 'The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century: A comparative history' by Martin Crotty, Neil J. Diamant, and Mark Edele

The Politics of Veteran Benefits in the Twentieth Century: A comparative history

by Martin Crotty, Neil J. Diamant, and Mark Edele

Cornell University Press, US$35 hb, 231 pp

Buy this book

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