Posts Tagged With: world wars

Writing European History


Eric Hobsbawm was right when he called the twentieth century an age of extremes, and the phrase applies especially well to Europe.[1]  Starting in 1914, the continent was engulfed in total war for thirty years, followed by an unprecedented 45-year period of peace, even if it was a peace imposed by the Cold War.  How then should one tell the story of twentieth century European history?  Such a task requires one to confront questions of narratives, perspective, and themes.  Was it the gradual and haphazard, yet inevitable progress of capitalism and liberal democracy, relegating the world wars as regrettable aberrations of “true” European history?  Or do the darker moments of the twentieth century overshadow Europeans’ later achievements?  In Dark Continent, Mark Mazower portrays Europe’s twentieth century as one characterized primarily by violence, an era in which ideologies inspired entire peoples to fight to the death.  Bernard Wasserstein presents a continent continuously caught between two extremes in Barbarism and Civilization.  Lastly, Tony Judt’s book Postwar begins in 1945, but demonstrates how the previous thirty years of global war remained a defining influence on Europe after the war’s end, acting as the foundation for a new Europe committed to learning from its mistakes.

Mark Mazower’s Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century is considerably shorter than the other two books, but this can be attributed to the fact that his book is meant to be more of an extended essay than a full survey of Europe in the twentieth century. At the core of his book is the assertion that Europe’s twentieth century was defined by three competing visions for the future or Europe and ultimately the world: liberal democracy, fascism, and communism.  “Europe’s twentieth century is the story of their conflict,” he writes (xv).  Consequently, competition and violence are the heart of Mazower’s narrative.  Throughout his provocative and eloquently written book, Mazower demonstrates how all three ideologies were seeking to improve the world through the establishment of a New World Order.  “Like it or not, both fascism and communism involved real efforts to tackle the problems of mass politics, of industrialization, and social order; liberal democracy did not always have all the answers” (xii).

Another major goal of Dark Continent is to highlight the historical contingency of this European era. “Though we may like to think democracy’s victory in the Cold War proves its deep roots in Europe’s soil, history tells us otherwise” (5).  His narrative shows that fascism and communism were just as European as liberal democracy, though it is easy to retrospectively consider them anomalies of European history.  The Nazi “utopia was also a nightmarish revelation of the destructive potential in European civilization,” he writes (xiii).  What made Nazism stand out from the other European visions was the fact that it turned European imperialist mentality on other Europeans.  Consequently, Mazower argues that the Nazis’ “greatest offence against the sensibility of the continent” was treating Europeans like Africans, turning Europeans into barbarians and slaves (73).

After 1945, the forced peace of the Cold War “brought the continent the most precious commodity of all – time” (249).  Even though the emergent European Community (and later, the European Union) curtailed national sovereignty of the member states, Mazower argues that by the end of the 1990s, Europe had decided that social cohesion was of greater value than individuality (360). While Europe may have achieved a level of peace and economic prosperity, Mazower’s book does not really end with a positive note.  He concludes that “The real victor in 1989 was not democracy but capitalism” (397), and that one reason Europeans live with democracy today is “partly because it involves less commitment or intrusion into their lives than any of the alternatives” (397).  After half a century in which states took full control of the public and the private spheres, Mazower argues that Europeans have come to appreciate one of democracies “quiet virtues:” it gives people a retreat and allows for a private life (xv).  In other words, he feels that the stability of contemporary Europe comes not from dedication to an inherently peaceful ideology, but instead from Europeans’ settling on democracy because of their ideological exhaustion.

Bernard Wasserstein’s Barbarism and Civilization: a History of Europe in Our Time begins with a quote from Walter Benjamin:  “There is no document of civilization that is not simultaneously a document of barbarism” (vii).  This quotation sets the path for the rest of Wasserstein’s 850-page book; as such, readers see violence and peace occupying the same space in the story.  His book begins (like Mazower’s) in 1914, because the outbreak of World War One signals the ideological beginning of the new century.  He refers to the world of 1914 as a time of “dying empires” and “rising nation-states” (9), and expands by declaring that “Nationalism, not socialism, was the most explosive political force in much of central and eastern Europe, all the more so because it was frustrated and pent up by the authoritarian structures of the multi-national empires” (36).  Ethnicities and nation states play central roles in Wasserstein’s book.  Once the European nations were able to gain stability by the 1950s and 1960s, they had to learn how to deal with new ethnic minorities (like the Turkish workers in Germany), especially as Europe became a continent of immigration instead of emigration.  When discussing the 1991-1992 wars in Yugoslavia, Wasserstein writes, “The war brutally exposed the limitations of the European diplomatic system and its inability to resolve conflict arising from profound ethno-religious cleavages” (733).  This example – beyond revealing that Wasserstein’s book takes all of Europe into account, and not just central or western Europe – demonstrates Wasserstein’s skepticism of nation states’ ability to provide a peaceful environment for its ethnic minorities.

Barbarism and Civilization is primarily concerned with political, economic, military, and demographic developments, though he does offer glimpses into other areas (there is a four page section dedicated to sex and sexuality).  I was also surprised to see that decolonization was explicitly addressed in only eleven pages since the loss of colonies in Africa and Asia was so symbolically and economically important to the old imperial powers.  One way that Wasserstein’s account differs from Mazower’s is that Wasserstein’s focuses much more on individual actors than larger political ideologies. But by doing this, I wonder if he underestimates the power of ideas.  He refers to Hitler as a self-pitying misanthrope (397) and comments that fascist ideas were the “primitive rationalization of gangsterism” (160).  Wasserstein is right to highlight the influence that particular individuals had, but it may be easier to dismiss individuals as misanthropic than to fully give credence to the origins and power of their ideologies.

Tony Judt’s Postwar: a History of Europe since 1945, on the other hand presents a narrative based on ideologies.  His book starts in 1945 and so does not dedicate time to studying the actual events of the world wars.  Instead, the work focuses on the place the dark half of the century has held in Europeans’ minds since 1945.  World War One destroyed Old Europe and World War Two laid the foundations for a new one, he argues (6).  He quite provocatively claims that the work of Hitler and Stalin actually allowed for the post-1945 stability because theirs were projects that sought to unify and hegemonize European peoples.  Ethnic diversity only worked under multi-ethnic empires; that same diversity could not work under nation states.  “Between them, and assisted by wartime collaborators, the dictators blasted flat the demographic heath upon which the foundations of a new and less complicated continent were then laid” (9).

But the World War era also provided stability for the post-war Europe in another way.  Judt argues that for fifty years, the atrocities of Hitler’s Europe remained silent and that this silence was vital to the establishment of European stability.  Only after social, political, and economic stability were achieved were Europeans able to begin fully studying and confronting what it soon became clear was a European-wide complicity in the murder of the Jews.  In the post-1989 world, Judt argues that “Holocaust recognition is our contemporary European entry ticket” (803).  After Marxism lost its legitimacy through the knowledge of Soviet atrocities, Europeans witnessed the death of “grand narratives,” or single explanations that tied the march of history to one’s destiny (563).  Particularly after the collapse of Communism, Europeans were left with no competing ideologies with which to make sense of their world and use as the basis of identity.  Instead, Judt suggests that the Europeans’ violent past has become the unifying “other” for present day Europe.  Only by acknowledging the dangers of rampant capitalism and nationalism, by recognizing the destruction wrought by Europeans – epitomized by the Holocaust – can one be considered part of the new, unified “Europe” of today (830).

While they may focus on different themes throughout their narratives, all three authors position Europe into a larger, transnational or global history in the same way.  Each scholar concludes that the history of the twentieth century is the history of Europe’s relative decline in the world.  Wasserstein posits 1914 as already marking the “beginning of the end of the Eurocentric world” (1).  Mazower points out that the economic crises of the 1970s revealed to Europeans the weakness of nation states and “the need for concentrated action to defend their way of life against global competition” (328).  He adds that while the European nations themselves enjoy relative stability and peace, globally “Europe has lost its primacy, and perhaps that is what most Europeans find hardest to accept” (403).  From the beginning of his book, Judt tells readers that his is a “history of Europe’s reduction” (7), but Europe’s loss of relative political and military dominance in the world is not portrayed in a negative light.  In fact, he concludes by stating that, In spite of the horrors of their recent past – and in large measure because of them – it was Europeans who were now uniquely placed to offer the world some modest advice on how to avoid repeating their own mistakes” (800).  Again, this highlights Judt’s emphasis on the stabilizing and educational role Europe’s violent past can play in today’s effort to create a stabile and peaceful Europe.

These books offer three different ways of conceptualizing modern European history.  Mazower holds Europe’s divisions, competition, and violence as paramount, stating that, “The “Europe” of the European Union may be a promise or a delusion, but it is not a reality” (xiv).  Ultimately he argues that Europeans will only find lasting stability by giving up on the effort to define a single, unifying “European” identity.  “If Europeans can give up their desperate desire to find a single workable definition of themselves…they may come to terms more easily with the diversity and dissension which will be as much their future as their past” (403).  Wasserstein claims that, “Civilization and barbarism walked hand in hand in Europe in the course of the past century.  They were not polar opposites, but…locked together in a dialectical relationship” (793).  But while Wasserstein mentions this coexistence at the beginning and end of his narrative, readers may question if he feels that barbarism and civilization really coexisted, or if Europe’s twentieth century can be viewed as a transition from barbarism to civilization.  And lastly, Judt believes that the new “European” model can only be successful if it’s based on accepting Europe’s violent past.

[1] Eric Hobsbawm, The Age of Extremes: A History of the World, 1914-1991. New York: Random House, 1994.

Books under review: 

Mazower, Mark. Dark Continent: Europe’s Twentieth Century. New York: Vintage, 2000.

Wasserstein, Bernard. Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time. New York: Oxford University Press, 2007.

Judt, Tony. Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945. New York: Penguin Press, 2005.

For more books on modern European history, see my full list of book reviews. 

Categories: Book Review, History, Modern European History | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

European Modernity & Mass Culture


Modernism & Mass Culture

In our past sessions, we have explored different transformations that historians have designated as marking Europe’s transition into the modern era.  We have discussed technological advancements, processes of secularization, nationalism, and the transformation of conceptions of time and space.  The books that we read for this session add culture to this discussion. Each of these authors approach the ambiguous topic of culture differently, and thus come to different conclusions about the causes and implications of the profound revolutions in European culture.    Did cultural transformations reflect or produce changes in the political sphere?  Did the emergence of a mass society created by technological innovations create a vast, alienating sea of individuals, or a new sense of community based on the “spectacular realities” of modern life?  And what can we make of European culture’s collective “journey inward,” its turn towards psychology and psychoanalysis as the source of answers for life’s troubles?  The five authors for this session all contribute to a greater understanding of European modernity by attempting to answer these questions.

In Fin-de-Siècle Vienna: Politics & Culture, Carl Schorske explores the cultural world of the Habsburg Empire’s capital at the end of the nineteenth century.  Vienna’s small class of bourgeois liberals lies at the heart of Schorske’s story, and he argues that we must view liberals in Austrian culture as occupying a different place than liberals in France or Britain. In this way, Schorske’s argument can be seen as part of the Sonderweg thesis that is often applied to Germany’s transition into modernity.  According to Schorske, it was the failure of Austrian liberalism to overthrow the landed nobility and secure political authority for itself that marked Austria as different than the Western European powers and set it on a separate path of development. 1848 marked a defeat of the liberals against the aristocracy, and it was not until the 1860s that the liberals gained a constitutional regime almost by default.  “Not their own internal strength, but the defeat of the old order at the hands of foreign enemies brought the liberals to the helm of the state” (5).  This was only a partial victory, though, because the liberals were forced to coexist with an aristocracy that mocked them and thwarted their every attempt to accrue more political authority.  The only option left to liberals, Schorske argues, was to turn to culture as a means of ersatz authority to make up for their lack of actual political power.

As a result, the bourgeois liberals began imitating aristocratic tastes in architecture and art, since art “was closely bound up with social status, especially in Austria” (296).  Eventually, however, sociopolitical events caused these liberals to relate to art in a new way.  “If the Viennese burghers had begun by supporting the temple of arts as a surrogate form of assimilation into aristocracy, they ended by finding it an escape” (8).  According to Schorske, they were seeking a refuge from forces that they had inadvertently unleashed onto the thousand-year-old empire.  Although the liberals were proponents of parliamentarianism, they sought to restrict representation; only after people were educated with Enlightenment ideals could they be trusted with a vote.  These ideals spread beyond the liberal’s control, however, and various groups within the multi-ethnic empire began using liberal ideals to fight for their own inclusion in political processes.  So while the liberals were directing a nationalism against the aristocratic cosmopolitans above them, Slavic and Pan-German patriots were arguing for autonomy from below.  The Austro-German liberals “succeeded in releasing the political energies of the masses, but against themselves rather than against their ancient foes” (117).  In this light, Schorske uses Freud’s notion of Oedipal revolt, of “son” revolting against “father” to explain how the Viennese liberals were ultimately defeated by their own ideals.  By the century’s close, the liberals retreated from the public sphere into the introverted sanctity of the private sphere, leaving the nationalistic masses to dominate politics.

Deborah Coen challenges this narrative in her work Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life.  In an interesting book that utilizes the method of biography, Coen questions the “retreat” of liberals to private life as a “defeat.”  Instead, like Gerald Geison, she questions the notion of a fundamental separation between private and public spheres.  She’s able to do this by focusing on one family, the Exners, who were a “scientific dynasty” in Vienna.  By focusing on their family dynamics and their influences on the wider political and scientific communities, Coen is able to demonstrate that for the Austrian Bildungsbürgertum, or middle class intellectuals, “academic work and family life occupied the same social sphere” (31).  The home acted as a space for the Exners, and others like them, to not only discuss work and politics, but to also actually contribute to their work, thus “bridging the public and private lives of its inhabitants” (23).  Central to her argument is Coen’s assertion that “Liberal identity in Austria lay not only in an ideology but also in a character – a style of speaking, reasoning, and interacting, the product of an individual’s education in the broadest sense of Erziehung” (11).  A vital part in cultivating this liberal character was retreating from urban life, summering in quaint villages situated “in nature,” and not only observing nature, but participating in it as well.  Moreover, the Exners did this as a family at their “colony,” Brunnwinkl, along with other Viennese liberals who also summered at the Wagnersee, creating a seasonal “liberal space” where scientific and philosophical ideas were nurtured so that they could be spread back in the “public” sphere at the end of summer.  Thus, Coen argues that “cultivation of the domestic sphere was not a retreat from politics but a precondition of liberal identity” (90).

Coen also addresses the impact of uncertainty on liberal culture.  Where the Enlightenment ideals of the certainty of nature led to beliefs in unwavering laws of nature (scientific determinism), new discoveries and methods of interpretation led to the realization that perhaps nature was best understood as a set of probabilities rather than certainties.  In other words, phenomena were no longer dictated by natural laws, but instead were seen as having a higher (or lower) mathematical probability of occurring.  This new way of understanding mirrored the socio-political revolutions occurring as nationalistic and democratic waves overthrew the old social hierarchy.  Schorske argues that the liberals saw the acceptance of uncertainty as the “death of history,” a complete break with past understandings of the world, and thus retreated from politics and sought explanations in deep internal sources.  The relativistic “psychological man” replaced the traditional “rational” man of the old liberal ideals.

Coen claims that this view is simplistic and wrong.  Acknowledging that nature and society are more complex than previously understood did not destroy liberals’ worldview.  Instead, liberals like the Exners were able to “tame” and “manage” uncertainty through quantitative theories of probability, which contributed to two goals: defeating Catholic dogmatism, and providing a plan of action in the face of crippling relativism (10).  “Skepticism was thus not liberalism’s downfall but instead a vital element of liberal culture and natural science in post-1848 Vienna” (13).    In this light, psychoanalysis and similar sciences were not an admission that there was no real truth, but simply another chance to understand the world.  Franz Exner, for example, argued that “psychology should become to the interior world what natural science was to the exterior” (50).  Ultimately, Coen’s account adds more nuance to Schorske’s story, showing how liberals were able and willing to adapt to larger historical changes instead of just retreating to the private sphere (the home, and the inner self) in defeat; moreover, Coen’s characters are active actors contributing to the new, modern world, instead of just reacting to it.

Vanessa Schwartz’s Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris addresses another phenomenon related to the birth of modern culture: the rise of a mass society.  In a thoroughly entertaining piece of history, she challenges the idea of the new mass culture as a repressive, alienating phenomenon.  She sees the “spectacularization” of reality in Paris, which included the creation of “the public,” as a means of community building, where people did not feel alone in the crowd, but genuinely felt a camaraderie with other Parisians.  Schwartz’s analytical focus here is the gaze – she studies what people are looking at, who’s doing the looking, and how they are looking.  Therefore, unlike in Foucault’s portrayal of modern culture in which “the crowd” is seen, or is the spectacle (the object of the state’s attention), Schwartz’s portrayal changes the perspective and the crowd becomes the one doing the seeing.  In other words, the urban crowd became a society of spectators.  This is an important shift, because no longer is mass culture seen as something that is overwhelming and happening to individuals who feel lost or alone in a sea of other individuals.  Instead, mass culture is something that is partially shaped by the crowd, which is portrayed by Schwartz as group of actors. Schwartz’s characters are not mindless consumers; their demands and expectations shape the possibilities of the producers.

Spectacular Realities examines a number of media forms that helped create this crowd by turning everyday reality into events, things that should be first read about (she emphasizes the importance of the growth of literacy), and then gone out and experienced or seen for oneself.  “Like the boulevards, the press – especially in its sensationalization of the everyday – promoted the shared pleasures and identification of individual city dwellers that transformed them into “Parisians”” (26).  Going to see dead bodies in the morgue was like “real life theater,” turning death into an aspect of modern life.  Wax museums recreated scenes from daily life and let viewers “view themselves” in a narrative form, because the curators always set up the displays in a particular fashion to tell a specific story.  Wax museums, in other words, let modern Parisians see themselves as a spectacle from the viewpoint of a spectator (131).  Ultimately, while Schwartz’s book provides a plethora of important and entertaining information, the overall point of her book shows that the “spectacularization of everyday life” and the creation of the urban crowd deserves a spot among the study of democratization and technological innovations in the formation of modern society and culture.

Modris Eksteins’ Rites of Springs: the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age is a grand, yet confusing book, in my opinion, and in fact, its composition seems to reflect the very break with tradition and sense of uncertainty that his subjects felt during the era of the Great War.  The 1913 debut of the Russian ballet The Rights of Spring in Paris “rightly stands as a symbol of its era and as a landmark of this century,” Eksteins claims (16).  The reason is because the ballet’s music, choreography – its entire production – expressed revolutionary new ideas. On the eve of World War I, its message was that “If there was any hope, it was in the energy and fertility of life, not in morality.  To an audience decked out in its civilized finery, the message was jarring” (50).  This feeling of change and detachment – the signposts of modernity that were brought about by technology – were accelerated by World War I.

Eksteins studies the power of the masses and their influence on geopolitics in particular.  He devotes a lot of attention to Germany, because he feels that the German experience lies at the heart of the modern experience since “she more intensively than any other “developed country has given evidence to the world of the psychic disorientation that rapid and wholesale environmental change may reproduce” (68).  However, I find his treatment of Germany problematic mainly because he speaks in overgeneralized terms (“the Germans” did this, or “the Germans” wanted that).  He claims that “Germany had been the country most willing…to promote the breakdown of old certainties” (156), yet 100 pages prior he was describing how the German masses were clamoring to see, and almost worship, their conservative Kaiser, and how this pressure not only forced the imperial government into war, but also swallowed up any opposition (63).

In find Eksteins’ discussion of Charles Lindbergh’s flight across the Atlantic more interesting, plausible, and useful.  Lindbergh, upon his arrival in Europe, became “the new Christ,” the “most famous man ever” (242-244).  This was because he straddled two worlds created by the devastation of World War One.  One world was one of “positive values, revolving around family, religion, nature, and the good and moral life.”  The other was a “modern” world that was exhilarated by the act of flying over the Atlantic alone.  “The act was everything” (250).  After a war, the dimensions of which defied all comprehension, conservatives found a harbinger of traditional values in gentlemanly and self-made Lindbergh, while others – including “the masses” – saw Lindbergh as a star, a representative of man’s conquest of nature through technology.  These same ideas of conquest and progress through social engineering were taken up by the National Socialists who ultimately twisted and perverted morals to the extent that “death was the supreme manifestation of life” (330).  Complete and utter destruction through war (what Eksteins calls Germany’s “endless right of spring”) would purge and cleanse the world, allowing for new and pure life to emerge triumphant.  Ultimately, I remain very skeptical of Eksteins’ book. I am not sure if it is meant to be a way that the two world wars can be viewed, or an attempt to explain them.  I wonder if he is not just conducting his own grand ballet here.

Finally, George Mosse’s work Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars explores the ways in which war, and the Great War in particular, affected how nations understood mass death.  Mosse asserts that the modern world, beginning with the French Revolution, was characterized by a sense of loneliness, particularly amongst its bourgeois citizens.  This is how he explains the large number of volunteer soldiers in every war since the Revolution.  Because of this sense of loneliness and meaninglessness, men volunteered to fight for a greater cause.  This symbolized a shift away from men simply being called into action by their monarch.  “Men’s loyalties were being redirected from dynasty to the fatherland,” Mosse states (20).  This notion of a greater cause – beyond being a motivation for men to volunteer for the war in the first place – was also used to justify the death caused by the war.  Death, then, was turned into a noble sacrifice on behalf of the nation and its people.  This leads to the creation of what Mosse calls the Myth of the War Experience.  This myth became a tool of nationalism, and was essentially a coping mechanism for those nations that lost in the Great War.  For instance, in Germany, trauma and defeat led to the strengthening of nationalism and the War Myth as “a civic faith” (10) in which monuments and memorials can be seen as shrines to the fallen dead.  It is important to note that only the memories and experiences of veterans that matched with the larger aims of nationalism were commemorated in cemeteries and monuments (37).  In this way, nationalism was in the business of establishing and perpetuating official memories for the Myth of the War Experience.

He has an interesting section on the trivialization of the war, by which he means the processes in which the war was “domesticated” (141).  War themed books and toys allowed citizens to take control of the war, which seemed much smaller and manageable as a result.  In short, it allowed people to grow accustomed to warfare, thus dulling the impact of mass death.  Moreover, Mosse argues that changes in the ideals of masculinity, notions of activity and vitality, as well as the ideal of serving one’s nation in any way possible, all contributed to a brutalization of politics after the Great War (159).  This brutalization limited the number of possibilities open to politicians when tensions led towards a second global war in the 1930s.  World War II ended the Myth of the War Experience, though, because the Myth was not able to deceive people any longer.  More people experienced the war first hand due to a blurring of the boundaries between battlefield/home front and soldier/citizen.  Also, pictures, movie footage, and radio broadcast allowed more people to experience the war as it happened, and also exposed them to the new atrocities of modern warfare like the Holocaust (202).  This shattered the Myth and nations had to come up with new ways to deal with the mass death of the modern world.  The concept of “sacrifice” no longer sufficed in the face of Auschwitz.

All of these books reveal the turn of the twentieth century as a moment in European history characterized by far reaching change.  Technology, science, and geopolitics transformed cultures, which in turn affected politics, science, and technology.  The mass destruction and death caused by the Great War seemed to cut off the modern world from the past.  Eksteins shows that even the Victors experienced a sense of shattered reality.  They had achieved victory; now what?  (238).  Schorske in particular shows that while the masses were becoming active in politics, at least a part of society was becoming more introverted, looking inward for answers to the woes of modern life.  Individuality and “the self” took on a level of importance unparalleled to that point.  Indeed, Nikolas Rose claims that it was during this era that Europeans invented “the self,” looking for something deep within that was essential and true.[1]  Essentially, I would argue that this process could be seen as the search for a “secular soul” as the response to a movement bent on fighting the dogma of religion.  Eksteins calls this the collective “journey inwards” (298), and Coen displays that this inward journey does not equate to a wholesale departure from the public sphere of politics.  Finally, while both Eksteins and Mosse suggest that World War One was the cause of these new uncertainties, the other authors show that the forces of modernity were in effect before the Great War (and, in fact, contributed to its outbreak) even while the War accelerated and exasperated their effects.

[1] Nikolas Rose, Inventing Ourselves: Psychology, Power, and Personhood. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1998).

Books Under Review:

  1. Schorske, Carl E. Fin-de-SieÌcle Vienna: Politics and Culture. New York: Knopf, 1979.
  2. Coen, Deborah R. Vienna in the Age of Uncertainty: Science, Liberalism, and Private Life. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.
  3. Schwartz, Vanessa R. Spectacular Realities: Early Mass Culture in Fin-de-Siècle Paris. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1998.
  4. Eksteins, Modris. Rites of Spring: The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1989.
  5. Mosse, George L. Fallen Soldiers: Reshaping the Memory of the World Wars. New York: Oxford University Press, 1990.

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European Modernity & Mass Culture by W. J. Newsome is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.


For more books on modern European history, see my full list of book reviews. 

Categories: Book Review, Modern European History | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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