To Hell and Back

To Hell and Back

Europe, 1914-1949

Book - 2015
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TELEGRAPH BOOKS OF THE YEAR AND EDITOR'S CHOICE 2015 BBC HISTORY MAGAZINE BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2015 In the summer of 1914 most of Europe plunged into a war so catastrophic that it unhinged the continent's politics and beliefs in a way that took generations to recover from. The disaster terrified its survivors, shocked that a civilization that had blandly assumed itself to be a model for the rest of the world had collapsed into a chaotic savagery beyond any comparison. In 1939 Europeans would initiate a second conflict that managed to be even worse - a war in which the killing of civilians was central and which culminated in the Holocaust. To Hell and Back tells this story with humanity, flair and originality. Kershaw gives a compelling narrative of events, but he also wrestles with the most difficult issues that the events raise - with what it meant for the Europeans who initiated and lived through such fearful times - and what this means for us.
Publisher: London : Allen Lane, an imprint of Penguin Books, 2015.
ISBN: 9780713990898
Branch Call Number: 940.5 Ker
Characteristics: xx, 592 pages, 16 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations (some color), maps ; 25 cm.

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Nov 30, 2019

The writing is clear and chronological (with reasonable exceptions) and a little dry and wholly conventional, but there are no charts or graphs, no serious telling of the relations with overseas colonies or other strong foreign relations, no discussions of demographic trends, social trends, or cultural trends, except insofar as they relate to the political-military scope of the narrative. Nothing about the extraordinary advancements in the sciences.
The limitation to the political course of events is important, but not all-important.
No notes, but the bibliography is large, as is the index.

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