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 assessment, unfolding in area and time among 1917 and 1989, whereas evoking the 19th century as an interpretative backdrop. motivated via continental ancient, criminal, and social concept, Dan Diner perspectives the totality of worldwide background evolving from an jap and Southeastern ecu attitude. a piece of significant synthesis, Cataclysms chronicles 20th century background as a “universal civil battle” 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, observed via social revolution and “ethnic cleansing,” situating the Holocaust on the center of the century’s trouble. not like different Eurocentric interpretations of the final century, Diner additionally highlights the rising pivotal significance of the USA and the impression of decolonization at the technique of eu integration.
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Extra resources for Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe's Edge (George L. Mosse Series)
The so-called revolution of alliances that finally evolved in the 1890s had brought an end to the long-term rivalry between England and France and the enduring antagonism between England and Russia. This was especially the case in two realms: that of the Eastern Question in the Balkans and the Levant and that of the Great Game in Asia; the revolution’s result was a transformation of the European power system. At the same time, military technology was being revolutionized; armies and fleets had been expanded enormously.
134 The dissolution of the colonial empires was an implicit motive in the shaping of America’s war policy. ”135 The peoples living under colonial rule understood this article as a commitment to their imminent independence; Churchill rejected such an interpretation. 136 This disagreement between Washington and London over self-determination for colonial peoples, especially in Asia and India, would persist until the end of the war. Only Churchill’s replacement by Clement Attlee ushered in a policy of decolonization.
While the latter was based on a concern with forms of society and modes of social encoding, as manifest in the real world, the Nazis transformed Bolshevism into a biological phenomenon. In other words, their distinctions were centered not on a political, socially grounded opposition of classes and values but rather on a racist conception of ethnicity. 109 The concept of freedom basically denoted liberation from the traditional ties of an estate-based, corporative nature. It was grounded in the principle of the free individual whose obligations to society were construed as an expression of free will.