A significant achievement of Czech historiography
Winner of the 2015 O. Wichterle Prize Dr. phil. Rudolf Kučera, Ph.D., of the Masaryk Institute and Archives of the CAS, has achieved a significant success - his monograph Life on Rationing. Wartime Everyday Life and the Politics of the Working Class in the Czech Lands 1914-1918 caught the attention of the prestigious American publishing house Berghahn, which published an expanded and revised version in April 2016. Kučera's book was published in the Czech Republic three years ago and was named the best Czech-language historical work of 2013 by the journal Dějiny a Současnost. It is a fascinating study of the social history of the early 20th century.
Far behind the fronts of the First World War, hundreds of thousands of workers toiled in the factories of wartime industry, their lives fundamentally upended by the widespread conflict. Men, women, and children in the factories faced entirely new forms of material deprivation that upended existing social bonds and gave entirely new meanings to the most mundane activities of everyday life, such as when, where, what, and with whom to eat. This book reconstructs the experience of Czech workers during the First World War at four basic levels, namely food consumption, physical labour, gender and social and political protest.