ABOUT THIS BOOK
George L. Mosse (1918–99) was one of the most influential cultural and intellectual historians of modern Europe. A refugee from Nazi Germany, he was an early leader in the study of fascism and the history of sexuality and masculinity, authoring more than two dozen books. In ContemporaryEurope in the Historical Imagination, an international assembly of leading scholars explore Mosse’s enduring methodologies in German studies and modern European cultural history. Considering Mosse’s life and work historically and critically, the book begins with his intellectual biography and goes on to reread his writings in light of historical developments since his death, and to use, extend, and contend with Mosse’s legacy in new contexts he may not have addressed or even foreseen.
The volume wrestles with intertwined questions that continue to emerge from Mosse’s pioneering research, including: What role do sexual and racial stereotypes play in European political culture before and after 1945? How are gender and Nazi violence bound together? And what does commemoration reveal about national culture? Importantly, the contributors pose questions that are inspired by Mosse’s work but that he did not directly examine. For example, to what extent were Nazism and Italian Fascism colonial projects? How have popular radical right parties reinforced and reimagined ethnonationalism and nativism? And how did Nazi perpetrators construct a moral system that accommodated genocide? Much like Mosse’s own work, the chapters in this book inspire new interventions into the history of gender and sexuality, Jewish identity during the rise of the Third Reich, and the many reincarnations of fascist pageantry and mass politics.