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Britain still at war over legacy of World War I.


LONDON -- Around the world, the 2014 centenary of the start of World War I is an occasion for commemoration.

Yet in Britain, where the trenches of Flanders remain an ideological battlefield, it has also sparked an argument -- about patriotism, historical responsibility and the place of humor in teaching history.

Only in Britain, perhaps, would the spat pit the Conservative-led government's education minister against a comic actor -- Tony Robinson, who played the dim-witted soldier Baldrick in ''Blackadder Goes Forth,'' a much-loved television sitcom about the war.

In an article for the right-of-center Daily Mail newspaper, Education Secretary Michael Gove said ''Blackadder'' and other satires had created a public impression of the four-year war -- in which more than 8 million troops and millions of civilians died -- as ''a misbegotten shambles -- a series of catastrophic mistakes perpetrated by an out-of-touch elite.''
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Author:Lawless, Jill
Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jan 8, 2014
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