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Download Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe's by Dan Diner PDF

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By Dan Diner

Cataclysms is a profoundly unique examine the final century. coming near near twentieth-century heritage from the outer edge instead of the facilities of decision-making, the digital narrator sits perched at the mythical stairs of Odessa and watches as occasions among the Baltic and the Aegean move in evaluate, unfolding in house and time among 1917 and 1989, whereas evoking the 19th century as an interpretative backdrop.      stimulated through continental old, felony, and social inspiration, Dan Diner perspectives the totality of worldwide historical past evolving from an jap and Southeastern ecu perspective. a piece of serious synthesis, Cataclysms chronicles 20th century background as a “universal civil warfare” among a succession of conflicting dualisms reminiscent of freedom and equality, race and sophistication, capitalism and communism, liberalism and fascism, East and West.     Diner’s interpretation rotates round cataclysmic occasions within the transformation from multinational empires into kingdom states, followed via social revolution and “ethnic cleansing,” situating the Holocaust on the center of the century’s difficulty. in contrast to different Eurocentric interpretations of the final century, Diner additionally highlights the rising pivotal significance of the us and the influence of decolonization at the technique of ecu integration.

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Extra info for Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe's Edge (George L. Mosse Series)

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It is as if the biologizing of the social emanating from Nazi Germany prompted the protagonists in the Two Varieties of Universal Civil War • 49 century’s defining confrontation to call a truce, in order to confront a phenomenon radically incompatible with the Enlightenment’s defining ideas. For a short period of less than four years, two fundamentally opposing interpretations of the world faced each other on the battlefield. There was no shared secular reality between them. In contrast, the powers espousing a societal interpretation of the world, the Anglo-American proponents of freedom, on the one hand, the Soviet proponents of radical equality, on the other, could draw together on the basis of historically transmitted and geopolitically shaped premises.

In the face of the machine gun, everyone could serve the apparatus of death—workers, peasants, the nobility, the bourgeoisie. The machine gun simply cancelled attributes and capabilities, whether inherited or acquired, mental or physical. The finger on the trigger made everyone lord of the battlefield. In the Great War’s struggle for survival, the barriers of class and estate were transcended, their value having plunged into an abyss. Machines make people equal. Already in the nineteenth century, civil equality had advanced together with the industrialization process.

The formerly autocratic Russia, now Bolshevik, espoused a radical variant of literal equality: the proletarian revolution. France, to the contrary, assumed the 42 •   vanguard of the anti-Bolshevik intervention. Britain, albeit the financier and arms supplier of the Russian counterrevolutionaries, remained largely committed to its traditional balancing role on the Continent. In America, Woodrow Wilson, representing a liberal-democratic codex of values now also spreading eastward across the old Continent, did not have a clear position regarding the Bolsheviks.

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