Fire and Blood: The European Civil War (1914-1945)
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Published Date :
Published By Verso Books
ISBN : 9781784781330
Category : Europe
Format : Hardback
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“Enzo Traverso’s investigation is based on a brilliant—although controversial—idea. It is an important book that deserves to prompt vast and interesting debates.” Saul Friedländer, UCLA, author of Nazi Germany and the Jews and The Years of Extermination

“Written with empathy and perspicacity, Fire and Blood takes the measure of the explosion of violence—revolutionary vs. counter-revolutionary, fascist vs. anti-fascist, military vs. civilian—that constituted the European “civil war” of the first half of the twentieth century. Enzo Traverso’s admirable erudition and judiciousness make this work an indispensable synthesis.” Anson Rabinbach, Princeton University

“Despite thousands of books on the two world wars, we are still far from understanding the violence that tore Europe apart between 1914 and 1945. By conceiving of the conflict as a civil war, Enzo Traverso provides us with a new way to think about the disaster that continues to shape the twenty-first century.” Joanna Bourke, Birkbeck College

“One must admire Traverso’s ambitious synthesis of theory and recent scholarship.” Shelley Baranowski, University of Akron

“This is engaged history at its best. Traverso wants to redeem those nowadays slighted anti-fascist thinkers and activists. He rejects a simplistic antitotalitarianism that upholds a pure liberalism untouched by uncomfortable choices. In part a coming-to-terms with his and his family’s past as leftists in Italy, Fire and Blood is a passionate and bracing contribution to the issues that bedeviled Western political intellectuals in the age of extremism.” Russell Jacoby, UCLA, author of Bloodlust and The Last Intellectuals

“A remarkable study on the politics of violence.” Dan Diner, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, author of America in the Eyes of the Germans

“This book … cannot be neglected by anyone with the temerity to approach the subject in future.” Al Richardson, Revolutionary History

“A magisterial interpretation of an epoch that threw Europe into chaos; it is one of those great books on the twentieth century which will be discussed in the coming years.” Alexandra Laignel-Lavastine, Le Monde

“[A] remarkable reinterpretation of the history of the ‘Thirty Years War’ of the twentieth century … recreates the ethos of this time.” Michael Löwy, Le Monde Diplomatique

“Grounded on a huge bibliographical base, this book interprets three decades of European history by skillfully focusing on the categories of total war and civil war … [Fire and Blood] allows us to understand the meaning of a tragic experience lived by humankind.” Claudio Pavone, Passato e Presente

“Analyzes the enchainment of tragedies that disfigured the twentieth century [and] explores the universe of horror and suffering, but also of cultures, ideas and hopes, that shaped Europe through a sequence of conflicts during the first half of the twentieth century.” Aurelio Lepre, Il Corriere della Sera

“The latest historiographical work of Enzo Traverso is the result of years, probably decades of investigation on the topics of wars, fascist dictatorships, intellectual exile, the Holocaust and the Nazi violence. Until now, he had approached them only separately, and today, at the height of his historiographical maturity, he gathers them in a global interpretation of the most intricate, as well as terrible period of the history of the twentieth century.” Marcello Flores, Dieci Libri dell’anno

“Enzo Traverso follows the rise of the cult of violence not only through the explosive escalation of brutality between the two world wars, but also through literature, the arts and cinema. Thus, through careful arguments, he depicts a convincing although completely discomforting panorama of acquaintance with violence and analyzes both its results and its function as midwife of history.” Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Die Zeit

“Sharply sketched … impressive … powerful … Fire and Blood opens the window, lets in fresh air and clears the intellectual fog.” Tim B. Müller, Süddeutsche Zeitung

“Even those who don’t agree with many of Traverso’s theses and interpretations should undoubtedly recognize that his particular analyses are impressive. His phenomenological approach to the manifestations of violence and fear not only in social and political life but also in music, arts, literature and movies of this age, as he shows giving the examples of Igor Stravinsky, Max Beckmann, Louis Ferdinand Céline and Fritz Lang, are instructive and stimulating.” Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

“Whoever wishes to know about the nature of the twentieth century—the century from which all of us come—should not ignore this book.” Der Tagesspiegel

“One of the most significant books of the last decade—a great book that only a great historian could write. Fire and Blood rediscovers the concept of European civil war in order to analyze a socio-cultural context and a whole of attitudes and practices that, rather than a regression of civilization, appear as modern and radical experiences.” Historia y Política

“Displays a historiographical discourse of high standard and extreme lucidity [with] its clarity of exposition and its genuinely trans-European dimension.” Caràcters

“The best general study on the European civil war … A magnificent historical, political and philosophical analysis of the ‘European Civil War’ that tore the continent apart during the first half of the twentieth century.” Sociología Histórica

Enzo Traverso studied history at the University of Genoa (Italy) and received his PhD from the EHESS of Paris in 1989. He has taught political science for almost twenty years in France. Since 2013, he is Susan and Barton Winokur Professor in the Humanities at Cornell University. His publications, all translated into different languages, include more than ten authored and other edited books, among which The Marxists and the Jewish Question (1994), The Jews and Germany (1995), Understanding the Nazi Genocide (London, 1999) and The Origins of Nazi Violence (2003).


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