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Out of Ashes: A New History of Europe in the Twentieth Century

by Konrad Jarausch Princeton University Press
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Pbk 888 pages
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A sweeping history of twentieth-century Europe, Out of Ashes tells the story of an era of unparalleled violence and barbarity yet also of humanity, prosperity, and promise.


Konrad Jarausch describes how the European nations emerged from the nineteenth century with high hopes for continued material progress and proud of their imperial command over the globe, only to become embroiled in the bloodshed of World War I, which brought an end to their optimism and gave rise to competing democratic, communist, and fascist ideologies. He shows how the 1920s witnessed renewed hope and a flourishing of modernist art and literature, but how the decade ended in economic collapse and gave rise to a second, more devastating world war and genocide on an unprecedented scale. Jarausch further explores how Western Europe surprisingly recovered due to American help and political integration. Finally, he examines how the Cold War pushed the divided continent to the brink of nuclear annihilation, and how the unforeseen triumph of liberal capitalism came to be threatened by Islamic fundamentalism, global economic crisis, and an uncertain future.


A stunning achievement, Out of Ashes explores the paradox of the European encounter with modernity in the twentieth century, shedding new light on why it led to cataclysm, inhumanity, and self-destruction, but also social justice, democracy, and peace.




Preface vii
Introduction: The European Paradox 1
Part I: Promise of Progress, 1900?1929
1. Global Domination 19
2. Breakdown of Peace 46
3. Waging Total War 73
4. Bolshevik Revolution 102
5. Democratic Hopes 128
6. Fascist Alternative 155
7. Modernist Provocations 181
Part II: Turn to Self-Destruction, 1929?45
8. Devastating Depression 209
9. Stalinist Modernization 235
10. Hitler's Volksgemeinschaft 261
11. Unleashing World War II 287
12. Axis Conquest 314
13. Nazi Holocaust 341
14. Bitter Victory 369
Part III: Surprising Recovery, 1945?73
15. Democratic Renewal 399
16. Dictating Communism 426
17. Cold War Crises 452
18. Disappointing Decolonization 480
19. Economic Integration 506
20. Pop and Prosperity 533
21. Planning Social Reform 559
Part IV: Confronting Globalization, 1973?2000
22. Revolt against Modernity 587
23. Postindustrial Transition 613
24. Return to D├ętente 639
25. Peaceful Revolution 666
26. Transforming the East 694
27. Global Challenges 721
28. Prospects for the Twenty-first Century 747
Postscript: A Chastened Modernity 773
Acknowledgments 789
Notes 791
Index 851

"This book is a sweeping study of twentieth-century European history, read through the lens of multiple modernities. Written by one of the leading lights of modern German and European history, Out of Ashes has the power to stake its place as a volume of truly lasting value."'Belinda J. Davis, author of Home Fires Burning: Food, Politics, and Everyday Life in World War I Berlin
Konrad H. Jarausch is the Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His many books include Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier's Letters from the Eastern Front (Princeton) and After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945-1995. He lives in Chapel Hill.