A sweeping history of twentieth-century Europe, Out of Ashes tells the story of an era of unparalleled violence and barbarity yet also of humanity, prosperity, and promise.
Konrad Jarausch describes how the European nations emerged from the nineteenth century with high hopes for continued material progress and proud of their imperial command over the globe, only to become embroiled in the bloodshed of World War I, which brought an end to their optimism and gave rise to competing democratic, communist, and fascist ideologies. He shows how the 1920s witnessed renewed hope and a flourishing of modernist art and literature, but how the decade ended in economic collapse and gave rise to a second, more devastating world war and genocide on an unprecedented scale. Jarausch further explores how Western Europe surprisingly recovered due to American help and political integration. Finally, he examines how the Cold War pushed the divided continent to the brink of nuclear annihilation, and how the unforeseen triumph of liberal capitalism came to be threatened by Islamic fundamentalism, global economic crisis, and an uncertain future.
A stunning achievement, Out of Ashes explores the paradox of the European encounter with modernity in the twentieth century, shedding new light on why it led to cataclysm, inhumanity, and self-destruction, but also social justice, democracy, and peace.
Konrad H. Jarausch is the Lurcy Professor of European Civilization at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. His many books include Reluctant Accomplice: A Wehrmacht Soldier’s Letters from the Eastern Front (Princeton) and After Hitler: Recivilizing Germans, 1945–1995. He lives in Chapel Hill.
"[Out of Ashes] should be on the shelf of everyone seeking a panoramic, narrative guide to history's most violent century. This comprehensive history of 20th-century Europe is bound to become the standard work on its subject: a bold, major achievement."--Publishers Weekly, starred review
"All told, this magnum opus is the outstanding achievement of a scholar who is himself in his early seventies--a good age for historians. Jarausch is one of the very few who have dared to write a history of Europe covering the entire long 20th century. Strictly speaking only Mark Mazower has run this risk in the Anglophone world. Konrad Jarausch presents an original work with a consistent conception, a completely convincing narrative of its own, a high analytical grasp of the grand lines as well as of the details as well as enormous knowledge and incredible command of the literature. Based on considerable skepticism and realism [it sends] a fairly positive message for Americans and Europeans about the recent European past."--Hartmut Kaelble, H-Solz-Kult
"Jarausch has written a groundbreaking study of 20th-century European history."--Choice
"Konrad Jarausch’s ambitious and sprawling new book, Out of Ashes, seems like a text for our times. . . . Jarausch examines Europe’s recent past, pursuing a fundamental question--namely, what is modernization?--that connects the continent’s violently ideological ‘dark times’ to its postwar renewal and ambiguous future."--Commonweal
"Jarausch’s book really comes into its own when dealing with the second half of the century. Here, he wonderfully pulls together various strands of the story of European integration and decolonisation, Cold War and the creation of the welfare state, deindustrialisation and globalisation."--Srinath Raghavan, Open Magazine
"Sweepingly comprehensive . . . highly commended."--Uniting for Peace
Table of Contents
Other Princeton books authored or coauthored by Konrad H. Jarausch: