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‘Brilliant. A timely reminder of the fragility of democracy and the dangers of extreme nationalism.’ Nikolaus Wachsmann, author of KL: A History of the Nazi Concentration Camps
'Extremely fine... with careful prose and scholarship, he brings these events close to us.' Timothy Snyder, The New York Times
'Intelligent, well-informed... intriguing.' The Times
'In this post-truth, alternative-facts American moment, The Death of Democracy is essential reading.’ Kurt Andersen, author of Fantasyland
‘An outstanding accomplishment.’ Rick Perlstein, author of Nixonland
A revelatory account of the fall of the Weimar Republic and the rise of Hitler, based on new and award-winning research, and recently discovered archival material.
The Death of Democracy explores one of the great questions in all of human history: what caused the fall of one of the most progressive governments in twentieth-century Europe, and the rise of the most terrifying?
Drawing on extraordinary individual stories to illustrate its broader arguments, this revelatory new account presents a panoramic portrait of Germany at a turning point, focusing on the global dimension of the Nazi phenomenon as part of a widespread reaction against a world order of triumphant, cosmopolitan liberal democracy and capitalism after the First World War. This was a world situation that pushed its opponents to embrace authoritarianism, nationalism and economic self-sufficiency, kick-starting a revolution reliant upon the innovative exploitation of 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 an authoritative and panoramic new survey of one of the most pivotal periods in modern history, and a book with a clear and important message for the world today.
‘When I first lived in Ukraine, I was preoccupied with its ideas of the past and future. Once Maidan started, there was nothing but the present; every hour held the possibility of transformation, and of terrible violence…’
After leaving university in 2004, Sophie Pinkham moved to Siberia to volunteer for the Red Cross, tackling the rising AIDS crisis by folding origami tulips. Over the next decade, she travelled and worked across the post-Soviet world, from Lake Baikal to the Black Sea, at a time when the young countries of the region were struggling to define their new identities.
Black Square is a multidimensional portrait of a period of tumultuous change, and of a generation that came of age after the fall of the USSR, only to see protestors shot on Kiev’s main square, Crimea annexed by Russia, and a bitter war in eastern Ukraine. We meet a charismatic doctor fighting the AIDS epidemic even as he struggles with his own drug addiction; an iconoclastic artist with a penchant for public nudity; and a Russian-Jewish clarinettist agitating for Ukrainian liberation.
With a deep knowledge of the literature and legends of the region, and a keen outsider’s eye for the dark absurdities of post-Soviet society, Black Square delivers an indelible impression of a region, and a world, on the brink.
A great thinker's final testament: a characteristically wise and forthright collection of essays from the author of Postwar and Thinking the Twentieth Century, spanning a career of extraordinary intellectual engagement. Edited and introduced by Jennifer Homans.
Tony Judt’s first collection of essays, Reappraisals, was centred on twentieth-century Europe in history and memory. Some of Judt’s most prominent and indeed controversial essays felt outside of the scope of Reappraisals, most notably his writings on the state of Israel and its relationship to Palestine. There would be time, it was thought, to fit these essays into a larger frame. Sadly, this would not be the case, at least during the author’s own life.
Now, in When the Facts Change, Tony Judt’s widow and fellow historian, Jennifer Homans, has found the frame, gathering together important essays from the span of Judt’s career that chronicle both the evolution of his thought and the remarkable consistency of his passionate engagement and intellectual élan. Whether the subject is the scholarly poverty of the new social history, the willful blindness of French collective memory about what happened to the country’s Jews during World War II, or the moral challenge to Israel of the so-called Palestinian problem, the majesty of Tony Judt’s work lies in his combination of unsparing honesty, intellectual brilliance, and ethical clarity. When the Facts Change exemplifies the utility, indeed the necessity, of minding our history and not letting cheerful fictions suffice in its place. An emphatic demonstration of the power of a great historian to connect us more deeply to the world as it was, as it is, and as it should be, it is a fitting capstone to an extraordinary body of work.
In August 1944, Hans Georg Klamroth was tried and executed for his part in the 20 July plot to assassinate Hitler. Wibke Bruhns, his youngest daughter, was six years old at the time. Decades later, watching a documentary about the events of 20 July, images of her father in the Third Reich People's Court appeared on the screen. 'I stare at this man with the lifeless expression. I don't know him... But I can see myself in him - his eyes are my eyes, I know that I look like him... I wouldn't be me, without him.'
In My Father's Country, Bruhns tells of her search for her father. Returning to Halberstadt in Northern Germany, where her ancestors the Klamroth family lived and worked for generations, she retraces the story from Kaiser Wilhelm to the end of World War Two, discovering old photographs, letters and diaries, which she uses to piece together a unique and unforgettable family epic.
Engaging with her family on both an emotional and political level, My Father's Country is a memoir that is also a remarkable work of history, powerfully told and deeply moving.