'Gripping . . . An amazingly audacious and completely innovative way of writing history' WILLIAM BOYD
An enthralling narrative history with an international cast of characters that captures this definitive period after the close of the Great War.
Lenin and Hitler, Einstein and Hemingway, Josephine Baker and Rosa Luxemburg, Marcus Garvey and Mustafa Kemal: key players and participants in a world on the cusp of modernity, at a moment when anything seemed possible.
As the First World War reaches its awful climax, a shockwave of creative destruction is released. Europe is torn apart by revolution. America is in flames. A deadly pandemic stalks the globe. The curtain rises on a dangerous and exciting new era not unlike our own: of populists and prophets, freedom fighters and fascists, radical new ideas and clashing ideologies contesting an uncertain future.
Crucible is the collective diary of this era, filled with vaulting dreams, dark fears, grubby ambitions and the absurdities of chance. Encompassing both tragedy and humour, it brings immediacy and intimacy to a moment of deep historical transformation - with consequences that echo down to today.
'Dazzling . . . A compelling patchwork depiction of an era' TLS
'This buoyant study of life after the Great War illuminates the part that chance plays in history' Observer
Ricochets the reader around the globe, providing a visceral sense of the power and pace of the whirlwind that in the wake the Great War birthed the world as we know it. The result is a kaleidoscopic portrait, brilliantly curated and elegantly executed, of a world on the cusp of modernity
A remarkable book… An amazingly audacious and completely innovative way of writing history … immediate and gripping
An ambitious, original, seductive and important work
Brings this extraordinary time to life with great vividness by evoking key moments from the daily lives of a dazzling variety of people
Emmerson skilfully tells the story of this lingering end to the Great War and Europe’s subsequent and dramatic transformation