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Oh What a Lovely Savas

Rana Mitter is joined by writers of fiction and history to discuss the roles of Turkey, India, China and Japan in World War I and the repercussions for those territories.

'Oh what a lovely Savas' begins Rana Mitter in this edition of Free Thinking, using the Turkish word for War. Along with Sean McMeekin of the Koc University in Istanbul, the novelist Kamila Shamsie, Naoko Shimazu of Birkbeck College and Erez Manela of Harvard University Rana puts Japan, China, India, the Ottomans, Koreans and others centre stage in the years 1914 to 1918.
If you weren't from one of the European Great Powers could you even get into the Paris Peace Conference in 1919 which was to lead to the Treaty of Versailles? And was the failure of the Racial Equality Clause to get on the statute books at this conference the beginning of the end of Empire even for those who won the war ?

Rana and guests discuss a world in which creating an empire was the accepted way of gaining a place at the top table of international diplomacy and power... until a war changed the way the world was for everyone - including the victors.
The very legitimacy of the idea of Empire was possibly the biggest ideological casualty of the so called First World War.
That's 'Oh What a Lovely Savas' with Rana Mitter and guests - Free Thinking.

Available now

45 minutes

Books from the programme’s contributors

Books from the programme’s contributors

Empires at War: 1911-1923 edited by Robert Gerwarth and Erez Manela


July 1914: Countdown to War by Sean McMeekin 


A God In Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie  


Japan, Race and Equality: The Racial Equality Proposal of 1919 by Naoko Shimazu 


Image: The Battle of Arras, April-May 1917. Forward scouts of the 9th Hodson's Horse (Bengal Lancers), Indian Army. Photo by Lt. Ernest Brooks. This is photograph Q2061 from the collections of the Imperial War Museums.

Credits

Role Contributor
Presenter Rana Mitter
Interviewed Guest Kamila Shamsie
Interviewed Guest Naoko Shimazu
Interviewed Guest Sean McMeekin
Interviewed Guest Erez Manela

Broadcast

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