Saturday April 19th, 2014

Europe

Magnus Hirschfeld

Magnus Hirschfeld

The Origins of the Gay Liberation Movement

Magnus Hirschfeld (1868-1935) was one of the first great pioneers of the gay liberation movement. This biography, first published to acclaim in Germany, follows Hirschfeld from his birth in the Prussian province of Pomerania to the heights of his career during the Weimar Republic and the rise of German fascism. Ralf Dose illuminates Hirschfeld’s ground-breaking role in the gay liberation movement and explains some of his major theoretical concepts, which continue to influence our understanding of human sexuality and social justice today.… | more |

"An authoritative account of how the Polish transformation betrayed the Polish working class and its aspirations."
—Jan Toporowski, SOAS, University of London

From Solidarity to Sellout

The Restoration of Capitalism in Poland

In the 1980s and 90s, renowned Polish economist Tadeusz Kowalik played a leading role in the Solidarity movement, struggling alongside workers for an alternative to “really-existing socialism” that was cooperative and controlled by the workers themselves. In the ensuing two decades, “really-existing” socialism has collapsed, capitalism has been restored, and Poland is now among the most unequal countries in the world. Kowalik asks, how could this happen in a country that once had the largest and most militant labor movement in Europe?… | more |

The Mythology of Imperialism

The Mythology of Imperialism

A Revolutionary Critique of British Literature and Society in the Modern Age

“We, the readers and students of literature, have been hijacked. The literary critics, our teachers, those assassins of culture, have put us up against the wall and held us captive.” So begins Jonah Raskin’s The Mythology of Imperialism. When first published in 1971, this book was nothing short of a call to arms, an open revolt against the literary establishment. In his critique of five well–known British writers—Joseph Conrad, Rudyard Kipling, D. H. Lawrence, E. M. Forster, and Joyce Cary—Raskin not only developed the model for a revolutionary anti–imperialist criticism, but, through this book’s influence on Edward Said, helped usher in the field of postcolonial studies.… | more |

Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left

Ralph Miliband and the Politics of the New Left

Ralph Miliband (1924-94) was a key twentieth century political thinker. His books The State in Capitalist Society and Parliamentary Socialism influenced a generation of the left. Miliband was an academic and public intellectual whose life and work were devoted to the attempt to define and apply an independent form of socialism. He was an influential teacher and theorist who played a key role within the political and intellectual community of the Left, both in Britain and in North America, where he held several visiting professorships. … | more |

Fools’ Crusade

Fools’ Crusade

Yugoslavia, NATO, and Western Delusions

Military interventions on supposedly humanitarian grounds have become an established feature of the post–Cold War global order. Since September 11, this form of militarism has taken on new and unpredictable proportions. Diana Johnstone’s well-documented study demonstrates that a crucial moment in establishing in the public mind — and above all, within the political context of liberalism and the left — the legitimacy of such interventions was the “humanitarian” bombing of the former Yugoslavia in 1999.… | more |

In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion

In Our Time: The Chamberlain-Hitler Collusion

When British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain returned from his Munich meetings with Adolf Hitler in September 1938, he proclaimed that he held in his hands a document guaranteeing “peace in our time.” In the decades since, Chamberlain’s folly has become the occasion for a commonplace historical lesson: that when the “good” innocently accept the assurances of the “evil,” the result is catastrophic.… | more |

Yugoslavia Dismembered

Yugoslavia Dismembered

The crisis in the former Yugoslavia has raised questions of universal importance. What are the rights of nations, peoples, and minority communities in an age when national boundaries are swept aside in the name of “ethnic cleansing?” Catherine Samary shows how the refusal to recognize any national identity except “pure” ethnicity has served as a pretext for the butchering of Bosnia-Herzegovina, and poses a threat to modern pluralist national boundaries everywhere. In response, Samary argues: “There must be different ways of being a ‘people.’ Forming a separate country for one single group is not (and must not be) the only choice.” Drawing from past experiences in the region, Samary outlines compelling and challenging alternatives to the surrender of pluralism and democracy to ultranationalist military might.… | more |

Radical Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany, 1919–1945

Radical Perspectives on the Rise of Fascism in Germany, 1919–1945

To understand the complex phenomenon of fascism and its success in Germany requires an integrated analysis of the economic, class, and power dimensions that led to the collapse of the Weimar Republic and the ascension to power of the Nazi party. The contributors to this volume, including a number of scholars from East and West Germany whose works appear in English for the first time, collectively construct such an analysis. … | more |

When Biology Became Destiny

When Biology Became Destiny

Women in Weimar and Nazi Germany

This collection of essays analyzes the experience of women in Weimar and Nazi Germany — the first a period of crisis and polarization between right and left, and the second a period in which the right triumphed. The history documented in this book provides us with a perspective from which to analyze our own time, for in the history of Weimar and Nazi Germany we see the issues surrounding women, family, and reproduction as powerful mobilizing forces for both right and left. … | more |

Scenes From the Anti-Nazi War

Scenes From the Anti-Nazi War

In this lively and instructive memoir of his experience with the anti-Nazi underground in Italy and Yugoslavia during World War II, Basil Davidson has thrown needed light on a much-neglected part of European history. Sent to the area as a representative of the British Special Operations Executive (SOE), he is able to recount at first hand the intense determination of the revolutionary partisans, who hoped that their sacrifices would lead to a new society, and the equally determined policy of the Allies to suppress them. As the London Review of Books stated, “The true purpose of this marvelously original book is to remind us that [for the underground] the Second World War was above all a political, even a revolutionary, experience, in which liberation was not simply a matter of driving out the Germans but also involved a radical restructuring of whole societies… which had permitted the growth of appeasement, defeatism, and indigenous fascism.… | more |

The Kapetanios

The Kapetanios

Partisans and Civil War in Greece, 1943–1949

The complicated and dramatic course of the Civil War in Greece had, for lack of parties interested in reconstructing the truth of its events, never been narrated prior to the appearance of this volume. It closed a gap in the history of our times, and did so with thoroughness and vivid journalistic immediacy. In addition to the known sources and unpublished documents, the author relied on testimony painstakingly collected from survivors of the tragedy who were scattered throughout the world. It remains the authoritative account.… | more |