Chapter

From ethos to mythos: the General Strike and Britishness

Rachelle Hope Saltzman

in A Lark for the Sake of Their Country

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780719079771
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781704080 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719079771.003.0008
From ethos to mythos: the General Strike and Britishness

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‘From Ethos to Mythos: the General Strike and Britishness’ surveys and analyzes the ways that different interest groups have selectively reproduced the story of the 1926 General Strike as a historical and metaphorical symbol. As a cultural product, the strike served and serves to validate the various political perspectives of former volunteers, Marxist historians, amateur historians, the Labour Party, and the Trades Union Congress, as well as museum curators, novelists, playwrights, educators, and restauranteurs. This chapter shows how one event in a nation's history can transform a multi-vocal cultural symbol into a national metaphor, making it available and relevant for present-day pundits, scholars, politicians, educators, and business people to use for redefining British character.

Keywords: General Strike; Britishness; Ethos; Symbol; Labour Party; Trades Union Congress; Metaphor; Museum; Novelists; Historians

Chapter.  13637 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Social and Cultural History

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