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Objects of WarThe Material Culture of Conflict and Displacement$
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Leora Auslander and Tara Zahra

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781501720079

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2019

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501720079.001.0001

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The Things They Carried: War, Mobility, and Material Culture

(p.1) Introduction
Objects of War

Leora Auslander

Tara Zahra

Cornell University Press

This introductory chapter provides an overview of material culture in the history of war. Across the centuries, people in flight from war or persecution have carried personal possessions with them, often with great difficulty. They and their descendants have gone to considerable lengths to preserve these objects, despite their everyday-ness, because of the value they accrued as they accompanied displaced people on their travels. These laboriously constructed objects record the resilience and ingenuity of displaced people deprived of the great majority of their possessions. Not only have individuals whose lives have been interrupted and displaced by war invested heavily in things, but so too have governments and armies. This book studies the displacement of people and things in times of war, in Europe and its former colonies in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Keywords:   material culture, war, personal possessions, displaced people, displacement, persecution

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