Fracture: Life and Culture in the West, 1918-1938

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9780857892201: Fracture: Life and Culture in the West, 1918-1938

When the Great War ended in 1918, the West was broken. Religious faith, patriotism, and the belief in human progress had all been called into question by the mass carnage experienced by both sides. Shell shocked and traumatized, the West faced a world it no longer recognized: the old order had collapsed, replaced by an age of machines. The world hurtled forward on gears and crankshafts, and terrifying new ideologies arose from the wreckage of past belief.

In Fracture, critically acclaimed historian Philipp Blom argues that in the aftermath of World War I, citizens of the West directed their energies inwards, launching into hedonistic, aesthetic, and intellectual adventures of self-discovery. It was a period of both bitter disillusionment and visionary progress. From Surrealism to Oswald Spengler's The Decline of the West; from Fritz Lang's Metropolis to theoretical physics, and from Art Deco to Jazz and the Charleston dance, artists, scientists, and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live and what to believe in a broken age. Morbid symptoms emerged simultaneously from the decay of World War I: progress and innovation were everywhere met with increasing racism and xenophobia. America closed its borders to European refugees and turned away from the desperate poverty caused by the Great Depression. On both sides of the Atlantic, disenchanted voters flocked to Communism and fascism, forming political parties based on violence and revenge that presaged the horror of a new World War.

Vividly recreating this era of unparalleled ambition, artistry, and innovation, Blom captures the seismic shifts that defined the interwar period and continue to shape our world today.

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About the Author:

Philipp Blom is the author of several award-winning books, including A Wicked Company, and The Vertigo Years, which has been made into a three-part television documentary. A frequent lecturer at European and American universities, he also contributes to international newspapers and hosts a radio show on Austrian national radio. Philipp Blom lives in Vienna.

Review:

Wall Street Journal
[An] eminently readable tome full of splendid anecdotal detail. Mr. Blom's ability to convey a mood and to synthesize complex issues, is admirable.... Anyone reading this book today in the context of our own culture of doubt will feel an immediate affinity to the anxious and even desperate celebration of life that it portrays.”

Financial Times
Blom's technique is to blend transformative moments with biographical vignettes, sometimes of offbeat personalities. Experts on specific episodes can be sought out elsewhere. For the general reader, Blom delivers an orderly sense of the maelstrom of incidents and ideas with panache.”

New York Times
A fluent, often entertaining account of the period.”

New Yorker
[A] lucid appraisal of Western cultures between the wars ”

Literary Review (UK)
Compelling Like other good popular histories, Fracture will make the uninitiated think, and the initiated think twice.”

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Philipp Blom
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Descripción ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Export/Airside. Language: English . Brand New Book. When the Great War ended in 1918, the West was broken. Religious faith, patriotism and the belief in human progress had all been called into question by the mass carnage experienced by both sides. Shell shocked and traumatized, the West faced a world it no longer recognized: the old order had collapsed, replaced by an age of machines. The world hurtled forward on gears and crankshafts, and terrifying new ideologies arose from the wreckage of past belief. In Fracture, critically acclaimed historian Philipp Blom argues that in the aftermath of the First World War, citizens of the West directed their energies inwards, launching into hedonistic, aesthetic and intellectual adventures of self-discovery. It was a period of both bitter disillusionment and visionary progress. From Surrealism to Oswald Spengler s The Decline of the West; from Fritz Lang s Metropolis to theoretical physics, and from Art Deco to Jazz and the Charleston dance, artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live and what to believe in a broken age. Morbid symptoms emerged simultaneously from the decay of the First World War: progress and innovation were everywhere met with increasing racism and xenophobia. America closed its borders to European refugees and turned away from the desperate poverty caused by the Great Depression. On both sides of the Atlantic, disenchanted voters flocked to Communism and fascism, forming political parties based on violence and revenge that presaged the horror of a new World War. Vividly recreating this era of unparalleled ambition, artistry and innovation, Blom captures the seismic shifts that defined the interwar period and continue to shape our world today. Nº de ref. de la librería LIB9780857892201

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Descripción ATLANTIC BOOKS, United Kingdom, 2015. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Export/Airside. Language: English . Brand New Book. When the Great War ended in 1918, the West was broken. Religious faith, patriotism and the belief in human progress had all been called into question by the mass carnage experienced by both sides. Shell shocked and traumatized, the West faced a world it no longer recognized: the old order had collapsed, replaced by an age of machines. The world hurtled forward on gears and crankshafts, and terrifying new ideologies arose from the wreckage of past belief. In Fracture, critically acclaimed historian Philipp Blom argues that in the aftermath of the First World War, citizens of the West directed their energies inwards, launching into hedonistic, aesthetic and intellectual adventures of self-discovery. It was a period of both bitter disillusionment and visionary progress. From Surrealism to Oswald Spengler s The Decline of the West; from Fritz Lang s Metropolis to theoretical physics, and from Art Deco to Jazz and the Charleston dance, artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live and what to believe in a broken age. Morbid symptoms emerged simultaneously from the decay of the First World War: progress and innovation were everywhere met with increasing racism and xenophobia. America closed its borders to European refugees and turned away from the desperate poverty caused by the Great Depression. On both sides of the Atlantic, disenchanted voters flocked to Communism and fascism, forming political parties based on violence and revenge that presaged the horror of a new World War. Vividly recreating this era of unparalleled ambition, artistry and innovation, Blom captures the seismic shifts that defined the interwar period and continue to shape our world today. Nº de ref. de la librería LIB9780857892201

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Philipp Blom
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Descripción Atlantic Books Jul 2015, 2015. Taschenbuch. Estado de conservación: Neu. Neuware - After the end of the Great War, Western nations - winners and losers - were in a state of shock. They had suffered a human catastrophe of unimagined vastness, and it seemed as if the certainties and values of the old world had been buried with the mangled victims. Patriotism, optimism, social hierarchies and faith in progress had been crushed by a wave of disappointment, grief and bitterness as states struggled against anarchy and revolution. Still, people traumatized by their sense of loss began to rebuild their lives amid the economic, social and political turmoil. By tracing developments in both the USA and Europe year-by-year, Fracture describes the ways in which individuals and societies reacted to the collective trauma of the War, from the shell shock victims of the trenches to African-American families in Harlem and mobsters Chicago, from British aristocrats and Italian fascists to Austrian workers and Ukrainian peasants. The sense of optimism of the 1920s is followed by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, and then by a slow process of reconstruction threatened by huge social strains until it partly succumbs to the logic of fear and to war.Underlying the historical narrative is a simple question, which has become newly relevant today: How do you live if all certainties are gone What is truly valuable in a crisis And what price are we willing to pay for certainty and security After 1918, millions turned to the big answers, to communism and fascism, while other simply tried to survive, or to have fun. In the end, the dreams of a new world turned into a murderous nightmare that engulfed the world. Eighty years later we are facing similar challenges. 482 pp. Englisch. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780857892201

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Descripción Atlantic Books Jul 2015, 2015. Taschenbuch. Estado de conservación: Neu. Neuware - After the end of the Great War, Western nations - winners and losers - were in a state of shock. They had suffered a human catastrophe of unimagined vastness, and it seemed as if the certainties and values of the old world had been buried with the mangled victims. Patriotism, optimism, social hierarchies and faith in progress had been crushed by a wave of disappointment, grief and bitterness as states struggled against anarchy and revolution. Still, people traumatized by their sense of loss began to rebuild their lives amid the economic, social and political turmoil. By tracing developments in both the USA and Europe year-by-year, Fracture describes the ways in which individuals and societies reacted to the collective trauma of the War, from the shell shock victims of the trenches to African-American families in Harlem and mobsters Chicago, from British aristocrats and Italian fascists to Austrian workers and Ukrainian peasants. The sense of optimism of the 1920s is followed by the Wall Street Crash of 1929 and the Great Depression, and then by a slow process of reconstruction threatened by huge social strains until it partly succumbs to the logic of fear and to war.Underlying the historical narrative is a simple question, which has become newly relevant today: How do you live if all certainties are gone What is truly valuable in a crisis And what price are we willing to pay for certainty and security After 1918, millions turned to the big answers, to communism and fascism, while other simply tried to survive, or to have fun. In the end, the dreams of a new world turned into a murderous nightmare that engulfed the world. Eighty years later we are facing similar challenges. 482 pp. Englisch. Nº de ref. de la librería 9780857892201

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