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A landmark account of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler, based on award-winning research, and recently discovered archival material.
In the 1930s, Germany was at a turning point, with many looking to the Nazi phenomenon as part of widespread resentment towards cosmopolitan liberal democracy and capitalism. This was a global situation that pushed Germany to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism and economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution founded on new media technologies, and the formidable political and self-promotional skills of its leader.
Based on award-winning research and recently discovered archival material, The Death Of Democracy is a panoramic new survey of one of the most important periods in modern history, and a book with a resounding message for the world today.
***THE SUNDAY TIMES BESTSELLER*** 'Excellent and provocative... a passionate, timely book.' Sunday Times 'A fine new book... thoughtful, deeply reported and impeccably even-handed.' The Times 'A rich guide to modern Germany... For the British readers this book is directed at, the implied contrasts are startling.' Guardian Emerging from a collection of city states 150 years ago, no other country has had as turbulent a history as Germany or enjoyed so much prosperity in such a short time frame. Today, as much of the world succumbs to authoritarianism and democracy is undermined from its heart, Germany stands as a bulwark for decency and stability. Mixing personal journey and anecdote with compelling empirical evidence, this is a critical and entertaining exploration of the country many in the West still love to hate. Raising important questions for our post-Brexit landscape, Kampfner asks why, despite its faults, Germany has become a model for others to emulate, while Britain fails to tackle contemporary challenges. Part memoir, part history, part travelogue, Why the Germans Do It Better is a rich and witty portrait of an eternally fascinating country.
On the first morning of Rome's Covid-19 lockdown Matthew Kneale felt an urge to connect with friends and acquaintances and began writing an email, describing where he was, what was happening and what it felt like, and sent it to everyone he could think of. He was soon composing daily reports as he tried to comprehend a period of time, when everyone's lives suddenly changed and Italy struggled against an epidemic, that was so strange, so troubling and so fascinating that he found it impossible to think about anything else. Having lived in Rome for eighteen years, Matthew has grown to know the capital and its citizens well and this collection of brilliant diary pieces connects what he has learned about the city with this extraordinary, anxious moment, revealing the Romans through the intense prism of the coronavirus crisis.
Between the birth of Dante in 1265 and the death of Galileo in 1642 something happened which transformed the entire culture of western civilisation. Painting, sculpture and architecture would all visibly change in such a striking fashion that there could be no going back on what had taken place. Likewise, the thought and self-conception of humanity would take on a completely new aspect. Sciences would be born, or emerge in an entirely new guise. The ideas which broke this mould largely began, and continued to flourish, in the city of Florence in the province of Tuscany in northern central Italy. These ideas, which placed an increasing emphasis on the development of our common humanity - rather than other-worldly spirituality - coalesced in what came to be known as humanism. This philosophy and its new ideas would eventually spread across Italy, yet wherever they took hold they would retain an element essential to their origin. And as they spread further across Europe this element would remain. Transformations of human culture throughout western history have remained indelibly stamped by their origins. The Reformation would always retain something of central and northern Germany. The Industrial Revolution soon outgrew its British origins, yet also retained something of its original template. Closer to the present, the IT revolution which began in Silicon Valley remains indelibly coloured by its Californian origins. Paul Strathern shows how Florence, and the Florentines, played a similar role in the Renaissance.
For centuries, Rome was one of the world's largest imperial powers, its influence spread across Europe, North Africa, and the Middle-East, its military force successfully fighting off attacks by the Parthians, Germans, Persians and Goths. Then came the definitive split, the Vandal sack of Rome, and the crumbling of the West from Empire into kingdoms first nominally under Imperial rule and then, one by one, beyond it. Imperial Tragedy tells the story of Rome's gradual collapse. Full of palace intrigue, religious conflicts and military history, as well as details of the shifts in social, religious and political structures, Imperial Tragedy contests the idea that Rome fell due to external invasions. Instead, it focuses on how the choices and conditions of those living within the empire led to its fall. For it was not a single catastrophic moment that broke the Empire but a creeping process; by the time people understood that Rome had fallen, the west of the Empire had long since broken the Imperial yoke.
Conversations with Milosevic is a firsthand portrayal of the so-called Butcher of the Balkans, the Serbian president whose ambitions sparked the Bosnian conflict. At its heart the book is a portrait of an autocrat who rode the tiger of nationalism to serve his own ends and to promote those who furthered his agenda. The architect of ethnic cleansing in modern Europe, Slobodan Milosevic created and sponsored two Frankenstein's monsters, Ratko Mladic and Radovan Karadzic, who were also indicted for war crimes. Through these personalities, diplomat and political advisor Ivor Roberts analyzes the unfolding of the Kosovo conflict, which directly sowed the seeds of radicalization in Europe today. He contends that this conflict later provided a false template for the Bush/Blair administrations' illegal invasion of Iraq: regime change under the guise of a humanitarian war. He further investigates how international recognition of Kosovo in the years after the conflict in breach of United Nations Security Council resolutions set a disastrous precedent for the Russian annexation of Crimea.
Emma Gad (1852-1921) was a prolific Danish playwright at the turn of the twentieth century. With sparkling prose and witty dialogue, Gad's ambitious and sophisticated theatrical productions raised important and still pressing questions about sexuality and morality-including the status of women in marriage, divorce, same-sex desire, and marital infidelity. Through her plays she engaged with contemporaries like Henrik Ibsen, Oscar Wilde, and George Bernard Shaw, yet she is primarily remembered for her etiquette book, Takt og Tone. Laughter and Civility, the first biographical and scholarly volume to examine and contextualize her dramas, deeply explores how and why influential women are so often excluded from the canon. Lynn R. Wilkinson provides insightful readings into all twenty-five of Gad's plays and demonstrates how writers and intellectuals of the time, including Georg and Edvard Brandes, took her critically acclaimed work seriously. This volume rightfully reinstates Emma Gad's work into the repertory of European drama and is crucial for scholars interested in turn-of-the-century Scandinavian drama, literature, culture, and politics.
The Nobel laureate Otto Warburg was widely regarded as one of the most important biochemists of the twentieth century. A Jewish homosexual living openly with his partner, he was also among the most despised figures in the Third Reich. Yet top Nazi officials-perhaps even Hitler himself-dreaded cancer and protected Warburg in the hope he could cure it. Using new archival sources and interviews with current cancer authorities, Sam Apple depicts a relentless figure, hungry for fame, who pursued his research even as the world around him disintegrated. Remarkably, Warburg's theory about the metabolic origins of cancer has been revived in our own time, as scientists investigate the dangers of sugar and the link between obesity and cancer. Ravenous is a book for readers of Alan Turing and The Emperor of All Maladies: a tale of scientific discovery, personal peril, and the race to end a disastrous disease.
How does a nation recover from fascism? 1945 to 1955 was a raw, wild decade poised between two eras that proved decisive for Germany's future - and one starkly different to how most of us imagine it today. Post-war Germany found itself occupied over four zones by the victorious Allied forces. More than half its population was displaced, 10 million newly released forced labourers and several million prisoners of war returned to an uncertain existence in a country that found itself politically, economically and morally bankrupt. Aftermath is the first history of Germany's national mentality in the immediate post-war years. Using major global political developments as a backdrop, Harald Jahner weaves a series of life stories into a nuanced panorama of a nation undergoing monumental change. Accompanied by expertly selected black and white photographs - some beautiful, some revelatory, some shocking - Aftermath evokes an immersive portrait of a society corrupted, demoralized and freed - all at the same time.
'Perfect territory for a military historian of Holland's talents' The Times ___________________________________________________________ This is the story of the biggest seaborne landing in history. Codenamed Operation HUSKY, the Allied assault on Sicily on 10 July 1943 remains the largest amphibious invasion ever mounted in world history, landing more men in a single day than at any other time. That day, over 160,000 British, American and Canadian troops were dropped from the sky or came ashore, more than on D-Day just under a year later. It was also preceded by an air campaign that marked a new direction and dominance of the skies by Allies. The subsequent thirty-eight-day Battle for Sicily was one of the most dramatic of the entire Second World War, involving daring raids by special forces, deals with the Mafia, attacks across mosquito-infested plains and perilous assaults up almost sheer faces of rock and scree. It was a brutal campaign - the violence was extreme, the heat unbearable, the stench of rotting corpses intense and all-pervasive, the problems of malaria, dysentery and other diseases a constant plague. And all while trying to fight a way across an island of limited infrastructure and unforgiving landscape, and against a German foe who would not give up. It also signalled the beginning of the end of the War in the West. From here on, Italy ceased to participate in the war, the noose began to close around the neck of Nazi Germany, and the coalition between the United States and Britain came of age. Most crucially, it would be a critical learning exercise before Operation OVERLORD, the Allied invasion of Normandy, in June 1944. Based on his own battlefield studies in Sicily and on much new research over the past thirty years, James Holland's SICILY '43 offers a vital new perspective on a major turning point in World War II. It is a timely, powerful and dramatic account by a master military historian and will fill a major gap in the narrative history of the Second World War.
'At last - a scintillating biography of Christiaan Huygens . . . Hugh Aldersley-Williams has evocatively illuminated this brilliant polymath who laid the foundations of modern European science.' Dr Patricia Fara, Emeritus Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge 'Fascinating . . . an impressive piece of scholarship. I learned a lot.' John Gribbin, author of Six Impossible Things and In Search of Schroedinger's Cat Filled with incident, discovery, and revelation, Dutch Light is a vivid account of Christiaan Huygens's remarkable life and career, but it is also nothing less than the story of the birth of modern science as we know it. Europe's greatest scientist during the latter half of the seventeenth century, Christiaan Huygens was a true polymath. A towering figure in the fields of astronomy, optics, mechanics, and mathematics, many of his innovations in methodology, optics and timekeeping remain in use to this day. Among his many achievements, he developed the theory of light travelling as a wave, invented the mechanism for the pendulum clock, and discovered the rings of Saturn - via a telescope that he had also invented. A man of fashion and culture, Christiaan came from a family of multi-talented individuals whose circle included not only leading figures of Dutch society, but also artists and philosophers such as Rembrandt, Locke and Descartes. The Huygens family and their contemporaries would become key actors in the Dutch Golden Age, a time of unprecedented intellectual expansion within the Netherlands. Set against a backdrop of worldwide religious and political turmoil, this febrile period was defined by danger, luxury and leisure, but also curiosity, purpose, and tremendous possibility. Following in Huygens's footsteps as he navigates this era while shuttling opportunistically between countries and scientific disciplines, Hugh Aldersey-Williams builds a compelling case to reclaim Huygens from the margins of history and acknowledge him as one of our most important and influential scientific figures.
An innovative history of deep social and economic changes in France, told through the story of a single extended family across five generations Marie Aymard was an illiterate widow who lived in the provincial town of Angouleme in southwestern France, a place where seemingly nothing ever happened. Yet, in 1764, she made her fleeting mark on the historical record through two documents: a power of attorney in connection with the property of her late husband, a carpenter on the island of Grenada, and a prenuptial contract for her daughter, signed by eighty-three people in Angouleme. Who was Marie Aymard? Who were all these people? And why were they together on a dark afternoon in December 1764? Beginning with these questions, An Infinite History offers a panoramic look at an extended family over five generations. Through ninety-eight connected stories about inquisitive, sociable individuals, ending with Marie Aymard's great-great granddaughter in 1906, Emma Rothschild unfurls an innovative modern history of social and family networks, emigration, immobility, the French Revolution, and the transformation of nineteenth-century economic life. Rothschild spins a vast narrative resembling a period novel, one that looks at a large, obscure family, of whom almost no private letters survive, whose members traveled to Syria, Mexico, and Tahiti, and whose destinies were profoundly unequal, from a seamstress living in poverty in Paris to her third cousin, the cardinal of Algiers. Rothschild not only draws on discoveries in local archives but also uses new technologies, including the visualization of social networks, large-scale searches, and groundbreaking methods of genealogical research. An Infinite History demonstrates how the ordinary lives of one family over three centuries can constitute a remarkable record of deep social and economic changes.
The Cambridge History of Modern European Thought is an authoritative and comprehensive exploration of the themes, thinkers, and movements that shaped our intellectual world from the late eighteenth century to the present. Representing both individual figures and the contexts within which they developed their ideas, this two-volume history is rich with original interpretive insight, and is written in a clear and accessible style by leading scholars in the field. Renouncing a single 'master narrative' of European thought across the period, Warren Breckman and Peter E. Gordon establish a formidable new multi-faceted vision of European intellectual history for the global modern age.
'The best biography of the Second Reich in years ... It will undoubtedly become the essential account of this vitally important part of European history' Andrew Roberts Before 1871, Germany was not a nation but an idea. Its founder, Otto von Bismarck, had a formidable task at hand. How would he bring thirty-nine individual states under the yoke of a single Kaiser, convincing proud Prussians, Bavarians and Rhinelanders to become Germans? Once united, could the young European nation wield enough power to rival the empires of Britain and France - all without destroying itself in the process? In a unique study of five decades that changed the course of modern history, Katja Hoyer tells the story of the German Empire from its violent beginnings to its calamitous defeat in the First World War. It is a dramatic tale of national self-discovery, social upheaval and realpolitik that ended, as it started, in blood and iron.
The renowned historian of the Third Reich takes on the conspiracy theories surrounding Adolf Hitler and the Nazis, in a vital history book for the 'post-truth' age The idea that nothing happens by chance in history, that nothing is quite what it seems to be at first sight, that everything that occurs is the result of the secret machinations of malign groups of people manipulating everything from behind the scenes is as old as history itself. But conspiracy theories are becoming more popular and more widespread in the twenty-first century. Nowhere have they become more obvious than in revisionist accounts of the history of the Third Reich. Long-discredited conspiracy theories have taken on a new lease of life, given credence by claims of freshly discovered evidence and novel angles of investigation. This book takes five widely discussed claims involving Hitler and the Nazis and subjects them to forensic scrutiny: that the Jews were conspiring to undermine civilization, as outlined in 'The Protocols of the Elders of Zion'; that the German army was 'stabbed in the back' by socialists and Jews in 1918; that the Nazis burned down the Reichstag in order to seize power; that Rudolf Hess' flight to the UK in 1941 was sanctioned by Hitler and conveyed peace terms suppressed by Churchill; and that Hitler escaped the bunker in 1945 and fled to South America. In doing so, it teases out some surprising features these, and other conspiracy theories, have in common. This is a history book, but it is a history book for the age of 'post-truth' and 'alternative facts': a book for our own troubled times.
'It is hard to imagine a finer account, both of the sweep of Italy's wars, and of the characters caught up in them' Caroline Moorhead, The Guardian From an acclaimed military historian, the definitive account of Italy's experience of the Second World War While staying closely aligned with Hitler, Mussolini remained carefully neutral until the summer of 1940. Then, with the wholly unexpected and sudden collapse of the French and British armies, Mussolini declared war on the Allies in the hope of making territorial gains in southern France and Africa. This decision proved a horrifying miscalculation, dooming Italy to its own prolonged and unwinnable war, immense casualties and an Allied invasion in 1943 which ushered in a terrible new era for the country. John Gooch's new book is the definitive account of Italy's war experience. Beginning with the invasion of Abyssinia and ending with Mussolini's arrest, Gooch brilliantly portrays the nightmare of a country with too small an industrial sector, too incompetent a leadership and too many fronts on which to fight. Everywhere - whether in the USSR, the Western Desert or the Balkans - Italian troops found themselves against either better-equipped or more motivated enemies. The result was a war entirely at odds with the dreams of pre-war Italian planners - a series of desperate improvizations against Allies who could draw on global resources and against whom Italy proved helpless. This remarkable book rightly shows the centrality of Italy to the war, outlining the brief rise and disastrous fall of the Italian military campaign.
In the final year of the Second World War, as bitter defensive fighting moved to German soil, a wave of intra-ethnic violence engulfed the country. Bastiaan Willems offers the first study into the impact and behaviour of the Wehrmacht on its own territory, focusing on the German units fighting in East Prussia and its capital Koenigsberg. He shows that the Wehrmacht's retreat into Germany, after three years of brutal fighting on the Eastern Front, contributed significantly to the spike of violence which occurred throughout the country immediately prior to defeat. Soldiers arriving with an ingrained barbarised mindset, developed on the Eastern Front, shaped the immediate environment of the area of operations, and of Nazi Germany as a whole. Willems establishes how the norms of the Wehrmacht as a retreating army impacted behavioural patterns on the home front, arguing that its presence increased the propensity to carry out violence in Germany.
The imagery of Hell, the Christian account of the permanent destinations of the human soul after death, has fascinated people over the centuries since the emergence of the Christian faith. These landmark volumes provide the first large-scale investigation of this imagery found across the Byzantine and post-Byzantine world. Particular emphasis is placed on images from churches across Venetian Crete, which are comprehensively collected and published for the first time. Crete was at the centre of artistic production in the late Byzantine world and beyond and its imagery was highly influential on traditions in other regions. The Cretan examples accompany rich comparative material from the wider Mediterranean - Cappadocia, Macedonia, the Peloponnese and Cyprus. The large amount of data presented in this publication highlight Hell's emergence in monumental painting not as a concrete array of images, but as a diversified mirroring of social perceptions of sin.
As the Second World War raged across Europe, and the Nazi regime tightened its reign of horror and oppression, nine women, some still in their teens, joined the French and Dutch Resistance. Caught out in heroic acts against the brutal occupiers, they were each tortured and sent east into Greater Germany to a concentration camp, where they formed a powerful friendship. In 1945, as the war turned against Hitler, they were forced on a Death March, facing starvation and almost certain death. Determined to survive, they made a bid for freedom, and so began one of the most breathtaking tales of escape and resilience of the Second World War.
The author is the great-niece of one of the nine, and she interweaves their gripping flight across war-torn Europe with her own detective work, uncovering the heart-stopping escape and survival of these heroes who fought fearlessly against Nazi Germany and lived to tell the tale.
From the foremost historian of 20th century Spain, A People Betrayed is the story of the devastating betrayal of Spain by its political class, its military and its Church. This comprehensive history of modern Spain chronicles the fomenting of violent social division throughout the country by institutionalised corruption and startling political incompetence. Most spectacularly during the Primo de Rivera and Franco dictatorships, grotesque and shameless corruption went hand-in-hand with inept policies that prolonged Spain's economic backwardness well into the 1950s. A People Betrayed looks back to the years prior to 1923 when electoral corruption excluded the masses from organized politics and gave them a choice between apathetic acceptance and violent revolution. Bitter social conflict, economic tensions and conflict between centralist nationalism and regional independence movements then exploded into the civil war of 1936-1939. It took the horrors of that war and the dictatorship that followed to break the pattern. The moderation shared by the progressive right and a chastened left underlay a bloodless transition to democracy after 1975. Yet, as before, corruption and political incompetence continued to have a corrosive effect on political coexistence and social cohesion. Sparkling with vivid portraits of politicians and army officers, some corrupt and others clean, recounting the triumphs and disasters of Kings Alfonso XIII and Juan Carlos, A People Betrayed unravels the mystery of why both right and left have been unable or unwilling to deal with corruption and the pernicious clash between Spanish centralist nationalism and regional desires for independence.
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