By John Lukacs
The historian John Lukacs deals a concise historical past of the 20th century--its global wars and chilly conflict, its international locations and leaders. the good subject matters woven via this lively narrative are inseparable from the author's personal highbrow preoccupations: the fading of liberalism, the increase of populism and nationalism, the achievements and hazards of expertise, and the continued democratization of the globe.
The old 20th century started with the 1st international battle in 1914 and ended seventy-five years later with the cave in of the Soviet Empire in 1989. the quick century observed the tip of ecu dominance and the increase of yankee energy and effect in the course of the international. the 20th century was once an American century--perhaps the American century. Lukacs explores intimately the phenomenon of nationwide socialism (national socialist events, he reminds us, have outlived the century), Hitler's sole accountability for the second one international struggle, and the the most important roles performed via his decided rivals Churchill and Roosevelt. among 1939 and 1942 Germany got here towards successful than many of us suppose.
Lukacs casts a difficult eye on the effects of the second one international War--the frequently misunderstood Soviet-American chilly war--and on the transferring social and political advancements within the a ways and center East and in other places. In an eloquent ultimate meditation at the passing of the 20 th century, he displays at the boost of democracy in the course of the international and the constraints of human knowledge.
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Extra info for A Short History of the Twentieth Century
In Hitler’s life and mind, too, the end of the First World War was a sudden, shocking turning point. He had been a volunteer in that war (in the German not the Austrian army); he found himself—“found himself ” may be the mot juste—in a military hospital in November 1918. ” There had not been anything very unusual in his thoughts during his youth and in his respectable military serÂ�vice during the war. In 1918 he entered the thirtieth year of his life. His chosen fatherland (Germany) and his acÂ�tual motherland (Austria) had been defeated.
Despite Turkey’s late and not very decisive joining with the Central Powers during the First World War, it did not deserve such treatment. Its new leader, Â�Kemal, saw that four years after the First World War, France and Britain were not willing to fight another war in the Near East. So in 1922 he and his Turkish soldiers fought a small war with Greece, expelling masses of Greek people from Asia Minor, where the latter had been denizens for hundreds of years. A new treaty, signed in Lausanne in 1923 by Turkey and Greece and governed by the Western Powers, redrew the frontiers and began a new chapter of relations between these two ancient enemies.
But, again, mostly around 1870, there was a change. It was then that the term “anti-Â�Semitism” appeared, a word and adjective still current now, in spite of its fundamental inaccuracy (Jews are not necessarily Semites, nor are all Semitic peoples relatives of Jews or of Judaism). The term immediately connotes someÂ�thing not religious Â� Jewbut racial. Moreover, it includes people who are no longer ish by religion but have converted to other, mostly Christian churches, suggesting, among other things, that they are still Jewish in their sentiments and beliefs, and consequently are dangerous elements within the nations they inhabit.
A Short History of the Twentieth Century by John Lukacs