Hope and Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century

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9780691096582: Hope and Memory: Lessons from the Twentieth Century

Both a political history and a moral critique of the twentieth century, this is a personal and impassioned book from one of Europe's most outstanding intellectuals. Identifying totalitarianism as the major innovation of the twentieth century, Tzvetan Todorov examines the struggle between this system and democracy and its effects on human life and consciousness.


Totalitarianism managed to impose itself because, more than any other political system, it played on people's need for the absolute: it fed their hope to endow life with meaning by taking part in the construction of a paradise on earth. As a result, millions of people lost their lives in the name of a higher good. While democracy eventually won the struggle against totalitarianism in much of the world, democracy itself is not immune to the pitfall of do-goodery: moral correctness at home and atomic or "humanitarian" bombs abroad.


Todorov explores the history of the past century not only by analyzing its spectacular political conflicts but also by offering moving profiles of several individuals who, at great personal cost, resisted the strictures of the communist and Nazi regimes. Some--Margarete Buber-Neumann, David Rousset, Primo Levi, and Germaine Tillion--were deported to concentration camps. Others--Vasily Grossman and Romain Gary--fought courageously in World War II. All became exemplary witnesses who described with great lucidity and humanity what they had endured.


This book preserves the memory of the past as we move into the twenty-first century--arguing eloquently that we must place the past at the service of a just future.

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From the Back Cover:

"Almost alone among contemporary critics, Tzvetan Todorov has chosen to apply his prodigious talents to the literature of twentieth-century totalitarianism. His unique gift is his ability to elucidate the memoirs and writings of some of the century's greatest survivors, not merely discovering their literary qualities but also finding in their works moral and political lessons relevant to us all."--Anne Applebaum

"This is a very rich book, full of interesting--and often highly controversial--conversation as well as moving portraits of striking figures of the century that has just passed. It is addressed to a general public very much engaged in discussing what the twentieth century was all about and where we are going from here."--Charles Taylor

About the Author:

Tzvetan Todorov is Director of Research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris and the author of many books, most recently Imperfect Garden: The Legacy of Humanism and The Fragility of Goodness (both Princeton).

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Tzvetan Todorov; David Bellos
Editorial: Princeton University Press (2003)
ISBN 10: 0691096589 ISBN 13: 9780691096582
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. Both a political history and a moral critique of the twentieth century, this is a personal and impassioned book from one of Europe s most outstanding intellectuals. Identifying totalitarianism as the major innovation of the twentieth century, Tzvetan Todorov examines the struggle between this system and democracy and its effects on human life and consciousness. Totalitarianism managed to impose itself because, more than any other political system, it played on people s need for the absolute: it fed their hope to endow life with meaning by taking part in the construction of a paradise on earth. As a result, millions of people lost their lives in the name of a higher good. While democracy eventually won the struggle against totalitarianism in much of the world, democracy itself is not immune to the pitfall of do-goodery: moral correctness at home and atomic or humanitarian bombs abroad. Todorov explores the history of the past century not only by analyzing its spectacular political conflicts but also by offering moving profiles of several individuals who, at great personal cost, resisted the strictures of the communist and Nazi regimes. Some--Margarete Buber-Neumann, David Rousset, Primo Levi, and Germaine Tillion--were deported to concentration camps. Others--Vasily Grossman and Romain Gary--fought courageously in World War II. All became exemplary witnesses who described with great lucidity and humanity what they had endured. This book preserves the memory of the past as we move into the twenty-first century--arguing eloquently that we must place the past at the service of a just future. Nº de ref. de la librería BTE9780691096582

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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****.Both a political history and a moral critique of the twentieth century, this is a personal and impassioned book from one of Europe s most outstanding intellectuals. Identifying totalitarianism as the major innovation of the twentieth century, Tzvetan Todorov examines the struggle between this system and democracy and its effects on human life and consciousness. Totalitarianism managed to impose itself because, more than any other political system, it played on people s need for the absolute: it fed their hope to endow life with meaning by taking part in the construction of a paradise on earth. As a result, millions of people lost their lives in the name of a higher good. While democracy eventually won the struggle against totalitarianism in much of the world, democracy itself is not immune to the pitfall of do-goodery: moral correctness at home and atomic or humanitarian bombs abroad. Todorov explores the history of the past century not only by analyzing its spectacular political conflicts but also by offering moving profiles of several individuals who, at great personal cost, resisted the strictures of the communist and Nazi regimes. Some--Margarete Buber-Neumann, David Rousset, Primo Levi, and Germaine Tillion--were deported to concentration camps. Others--Vasily Grossman and Romain Gary--fought courageously in World War II. All became exemplary witnesses who described with great lucidity and humanity what they had endured. This book preserves the memory of the past as we move into the twenty-first century--arguing eloquently that we must place the past at the service of a just future. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780691096582

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Tzvetan Todorov
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Descripción Princeton University Press, United States, 2003. Hardback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book ***** Print on Demand *****. Both a political history and a moral critique of the twentieth century, this is a personal and impassioned book from one of Europe s most outstanding intellectuals. Identifying totalitarianism as the major innovation of the twentieth century, Tzvetan Todorov examines the struggle between this system and democracy and its effects on human life and consciousness. Totalitarianism managed to impose itself because, more than any other political system, it played on people s need for the absolute: it fed their hope to endow life with meaning by taking part in the construction of a paradise on earth. As a result, millions of people lost their lives in the name of a higher good. While democracy eventually won the struggle against totalitarianism in much of the world, democracy itself is not immune to the pitfall of do-goodery: moral correctness at home and atomic or humanitarian bombs abroad. Todorov explores the history of the past century not only by analyzing its spectacular political conflicts but also by offering moving profiles of several individuals who, at great personal cost, resisted the strictures of the communist and Nazi regimes. Some--Margarete Buber-Neumann, David Rousset, Primo Levi, and Germaine Tillion--were deported to concentration camps. Others--Vasily Grossman and Romain Gary--fought courageously in World War II. All became exemplary witnesses who described with great lucidity and humanity what they had endured. This book preserves the memory of the past as we move into the twenty-first century--arguing eloquently that we must place the past at the service of a just future. Nº de ref. de la librería APC9780691096582

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