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. stimulated via continental historic, criminal, and social notion, Dan Diner perspectives the totality of worldwide background evolving from an jap and Southeastern eu attitude. a piece of serious synthesis, Cataclysms chronicles 20th century historical past as a “universal civil warfare” among a succession of conflicting dualisms akin to 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 state states, observed by way of social revolution and “ethnic cleansing,” situating the Holocaust on the middle of the century’s concern. in contrast to 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 ecu integration.
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Extra info for Cataclysms: A History of the Twentieth Century from Europe's Edge (George L. Mosse Series)
123 In the end, Berlin’s resumption of unlimited submarine warfare was a great provocation, as was its effort to threaten the United States from Mexico. Nevertheless, entering the conflict before February 1917 would not have suited Washington, which, sunning itself in liberal pathos, considered the pact between the democratic Entente and the despotic czardom a misalliance. America cultivated the self-image of a freedom-championing power remote from Europe’s quarrels, which is why Washington chose to join the conflict as an “associated” rather than “allied” power.
50 In the face of this exultant Germany, England saw itself as a citadel of steadfastness, its proud mission lying in bringing others “the law”: the norms and values of the status quo Britain represented, emerging from the Two Varieties of Universal Civil War • 25 nineteenth-century power arrangement and with a canon of virtue consisting of duty, honor, dependability, and social stability symbolized in both sport and the conventions of chivalry. 51 And further, the German Reich was now granted the role of troublemaker previously assigned to France as the motherland of revolution.
Thus, the Nazi worldview had no interest in defectors from the racially inferior opposition. The fiction of racial immutability prevented the Nazis from admitting supporters from beyond the perimeter of the German racial community and peoples regarded as artgleich (racially similar). ” The racially defined folk was absolute; all Artfremde (those alien to the race) were excluded. 142 It more closely resembled an extreme form of integral nationalism than a warring faction in the universal civil war over values.