By John Lukacs
The historian John Lukacs deals a concise historical past of the 20th century--its global wars and chilly warfare, its international locations and leaders. the nice topics 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 risks of expertise, and the continued democratization of the globe.
The historic 20th century begun with the 1st global struggle in 1914 and ended seventy-five years later with the cave in of the Soviet Empire in 1989. the quick century observed the top of ecu dominance and the increase of yank energy and impact during the international. the 20th century used to be 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 global struggle, and the an important roles performed by means of his decided competitors Churchill and Roosevelt. among 1939 and 1942 Germany got here towards profitable than many of us suppose.
Lukacs casts a troublesome 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 some distance and heart East and somewhere else. In an eloquent ultimate meditation at the passing of the 20th century, he displays at the increase of democracy in the course of the global and the constraints of human knowledge.
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Additional info for A Short History of the Twentieth Century
One minor exception to the disappearance of monarchies was Bulgaria, an ally of the Central Powers; its kingdom continued to exist until the end of another world war, in 1946. The great exception was Turkey, whose Ottoman Empire fell apart in 1918, after which it became someÂ�thing like a military dictatorship under the rule of a formidable general, Mustafa Kemal. He struck down and replaced traditional Turkish customs and institutions with strokes of his imperious fist, but also accepted the ending of the former and now-Â�fragile Ottoman rule over a number of nations and statelets in the Near East (Egypt, Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Iraq, and so on)—an amputation that did Turkey little harm but much good.
A kind of settling down did not occur until 1923— that, too, with a sense of incompleteness, especially among the loser states. During the war there had been some talk about a “New Europe,” an idea or ideal supported by a few liberal thinkers and international “experts” in EngÂ�land; it had few effects and echoes. An entirely fresh, imaginative, and radical proposal for a new Europe (called Pan-Â�Europe) appeared in 1923, drafted by a cosmopolitan Austrian nobleman; it had many echoes but no real effects.
Yet another reason was the inÂ� sufÂ�fiÂ�cient attention that was devoted, perhaps especially by the British (despite a large group of experts accompanying them), to some of these treaties; the petty work preoccupied their envoys and diplomatists for more than a year, and some of the details were neglected. Germain, Neuilly, Trianon, and Sèvres, with Germany, 34 a short history of the t wentieth century Austria, Bulgaria, Hungary, and Turkey, respectively. No peace treaty is ever cheered by the defeated; but in 1919 and 1920, an unusual amount of humiliation was imposed on the temporarily powerless victims.
A Short History of the Twentieth Century by John Lukacs