The set of Jewish mystical teachings known as Kabbalah are often imagined as timeless texts, teachings that have been passed down through the millennia. Yet, as this groundbreaking new study shows, Kabbalah flourished in a specific time and place, emerging in response to the social prejudices that Jews faced.
Hartley Lachter, a scholar of religion studies, transports us to medieval Spain, a place where anti-Semitic propaganda was on the rise and Jewish political power was on the wane. Kabbalistic Revolution proposes that, given this context, Kabbalah must be understood as a radically empowering political discourse. While the era’s Christian preachers claimed that Jews were blind to the true meaning of scripture and had been abandoned by God, the Kabbalists countered with a doctrine that granted Jews a uniquely privileged relationship with God. Lachter demonstrates how Kabbalah envisioned this increasingly marginalized group at the center of the universe, their mystical practices serving to maintain the harmony of the divine world.
For students of Jewish mysticism, Kabbalistic Revolution provides a new approach to the development of medieval Kabbalah. Yet the book’s central questions should appeal to anyone with an interest in the relationships between religious discourses, political struggles, and ethnic pride.
Klaus Wagenbach Haus Publishing, 2019 Library of Congress PT2621.A26Z98213 2011
Nearly one hundred years after Franz Kafka’s death, his works continue to intrigue and haunt us. Kafka is regarded as one of the most significant intellectuals of the nineteenth and twentieth century, and even for those who are only barely acquainted with his novels, stories, diaries, or letters, “Kafkaesque” has become a term synonymous with the menacing, unfathomable absurdity of modern existence and bureaucracy. While the significance of his fiction is wide-reaching, Kafka’s writing remains inextricably bound up with his life and work in a particular place: Prague. It is here that the author spent every one of his forty years.
Drawing from a range of documents and historical materials, this is the first book specifically dedicated to the relationship between Kafka and Prague. Klaus Wagenbach’s account of Kafka’s life in the city is a meticulously researched insight into the author’s family background, his education and employment, his attitude toward the town of his birth, his literary influences, and his relationships with women. The result is a fascinating portrait of the twentieth century’s most enigmatic writer and the city that provided him with so much inspiration. W. G. Sebald recognized that “literary and life experience overlap” in Kafka’s works, and the same is true of this book.
Kaleidoscope of Poland is a highly readable volume containing short articles on major personalities, places, events, and accomplishments from the thousand-year record of Polish history and culture. Featuring approximately 900 compact text entries and 600 illustrations, it will be a handy reference at home, a perfect supplement to traditional guide books when traveling, an aid to language study, or simply browsed with enjoyment from cover to cover by anyone with an interest in Poland.
The entries describe essential features of Poland from the mundane to the sublime. Whether it is bagels or the Bug River, Chopin or Madame Curie, the authors offer colorful and often witty snapshots of significant individuals, customs, folklore, historic events, phrases, places, geography, and much, much more. Beginning with the emergence of the Polish state in 966 under Mieszko I, to the resurrection of present-day Poland within the European Union, it’s also a sweeping account of the tumult and triumphs the nation has witnessed through much of its history.
This highly entertaining yet informative book is essentially a “cultural dictionary”—offering a knowledge base that can be referred to time and time again. Kaleidoscope of Poland will be welcomed by readers of Polish descent, students of Polish, or anyone planning to visit Poland—anyone seeking a greater insight into this fascinating land.
Gareth Stedman Jones Harvard University Press, 2016 Library of Congress HX39.S74 2016 | Dewey Decimal 335.4092
Gareth Stedman Jones returns Karl Marx to his nineteenth-century world, before later inventions transformed him into Communism’s patriarch and fierce lawgiver. He shows how Marx adapted the philosophies of Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, and others into ideas that would have—in ways inconceivable to Marx—an overwhelming impact in the twentieth century.
Karl Renner: Austria
Jamie Bulloch Haus Publishing, 2009 Library of Congress DB96.B76 2009 | Dewey Decimal 943.605
The Socialist politician Karl Renner (1870-1950) was prime minister of the government that took power in Vienna after the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He lead the delegation to Paris, which had to face the difficult issue of reparations and war guilt, for which the Allies held the successor states to the Empire responsible for. Fortunately, Renner was a likeable man and a realist, and the Austrian delegation became quite popular in Paris. The new Austrian state was in a perilous condition in 1919, on the brink of starvation and revolution, and facing territorial demands from both Italy, which had its eyes on the Tyrol, and the new Yugoslavia. Many in the German-speaking rump of the Empire sought union with Germany, Anschluss, but the Allied Powers vetoed it. Austria is often overlooked as one of the successor states to the Habsburg Empire, but it was no less important in the postwar settlement than Hungary, Czechoslovakia and the Balkan countries. Jamie Bulloch's account of Karl Renner's adroit handling of a difficult situation makes for fascinating reading.
White aster flowers, on sale on the streets of Budapest on the eve of All Souls' Day, are made the symbol of a revolution which brings Mihály Károlyi (1875-1955) to power at the head of a National Council. Károlyi concludes an armistice which leaves large areas of Hungarian territory under occupation by French, Romanian and Serbian forces. Following the King-Emperor's abdication in November 1918, Hungary is declared an independent republic with Károlyi as its President. He sets about meeting Hungary's most pressing social need, for land reform. But Károlyi's liberal regime is soon beset by strong opposition from the right and from the left. The Allies seal Károlyi's fate by refusing to end the economic blockade of Hungary and by imposing, even in advance of a peace settlement (Hungary is denied an invitation until the Conference is virtually over), even harsher armistice terms. Károlyi flinches from opposing these measures by force. The small socialist element in his government of well-meaning aristocrats defects and forms an alliance with Hungary's fledgling Communist Party. Károlyi resigns and chooses exile. The Communists, led by Bela Kun, take power. Kun raises a Red Army, which defeats a Czech invasion but fails to stem the Romanian advance, which enters Budapest in defiance of orders from Paris and engages in an orgy of pillage and destruction. The Peace Conference despatches a British diplomat, Sir George Clerk, to Budapest to broker a Romanian withdrawal. Clerk succeeds in forming a coalition government of right-wing parties, with token representation for the centre-left, which he recognises in the name of the Peace Conference and invites to send a delegation to Paris. It includes Counts István Bethlen (1874-1946) and Pál Teleki, both future prime ministers. The delegation is presented on arrival, on 6 January 1920, with the draft peace treaty for Hungary which the expert committees of the Conference have produced and which the Council has approved without amendment. The Hungarians are appalled to find that the treaty will deprive their country of two-thirds of her territory and over half of her population. The injustice of the Treaty will drive Hungary into the arms of Nazi Germany, a fatal alliance which will doom Hungary's Jews to annihilation and Hungary to defeat and destruction in the Second World War.
To the extent that she is popularly known, Katherine Parr (1512–48) is the woman who survived King Henry VIII as his sixth and last wife. She merits far greater recognition, however, on several other fronts. Fluent in French, Italian, and Latin, Parr also began, out of necessity, to learn Spanish when she ascended to the throne in 1543. As Henry’s wife and queen of England, she was a noted patron of the arts and music and took a personal interest in the education of her stepchildren, Princesses Mary and Elizabeth and Prince Edward. Above all, Parr commands interest for her literary labors: she was the first woman to publish under her own name in English in England.
For this new edition, Janel Mueller has assembled the four publications attributed to Parr—Psalms or Prayers, Prayers or Meditations, The Lamentation of a Sinner, and a compilation of prayers and Biblical excerpts written in her hand—as well as her extensive correspondence, which is collected here for the first time. Mueller brings to this volume a wealth of knowledge of sixteenth-century English culture. She marshals the impeccable skills of a textual scholar in rendering Parr’s sixteenth-century English for modern readers and provides useful background on the circumstances of and references in Parr’s letters and compositions. Given its scope and ambition, Katherine Parr: Complete Works and Correspondence will be an event for the English publishing world and will make an immediate contribution to the fields of sixteenth-century literature, reformation studies, women’s writing, and Tudor politics.
From Shakespeare’s “green-eyed monster” to the “green thought in a green shade” in Andrew Marvell’s “The Garden,” the color green was curiously prominent and resonant in English culture of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Among other things, green was the most common color of household goods, the recommended wall color against which to view paintings, the hue that was supposed to appear in alchemical processes at the moment base metal turned to gold, and the color most frequently associated with human passions of all sorts. A unique cultural history, The Key of Green considers the significance of the color in the literature, visual arts, and popular culture of early modern England.
Contending that color is a matter of both sensation and emotion, Bruce R. Smith examines Renaissance material culture—including tapestries, clothing, and stonework, among others—as well as music, theater, philosophy, and nature through the lens of sense perception and aesthetic pleasure. At the same time, Smith offers a highly sophisticated meditation on the nature of consciousness, perception, and emotion that will resonate with students and scholars of the early modern period and beyond. Like the key to a map, The Key of Green provides a guide for looking, listening, reading, and thinking that restores the aesthetic considerations to criticism that have been missing for too long.
Many people know the stories behind the tulip mania in the 17th century and the legacy of the Dutch East India Company, but what basic knowledge of Dutch history and culture should be passed on to future generations? A Key to Dutch History and its resulting overview of historical highlights, assembled by a number of specialists in consultation with the Dutch general public, provides a thought-provoking and timely answer. The democratic process behind the volume is reminiscent of the way in which the Netherlands has succeeded for centuries at collective craftsmanship, and says as much about the Netherlands as does the outcome of the opinions voiced.The Cultural Canon of the Netherlands consists of a list of fifty topics from Dutch culture and history, varying from the megalithic tombs in the province of Drenthe and Willem of Orange to the Dutch constitution and the vast natural gas field in the province of Groningen. These fifty topics act as a framework for understanding and even studying Dutch culture and history. The canon should lead to further understanding and deepening of our knowledge of our past and act as an inspirational source for pupils, students and the public at large.
Umberto Eco's The Name of the Rose is a brilliant mystery set in a fictitious medieval monastery. The text is rich with literary, historical, and theoretical references that make it eminently re-readable. The Key makes each reading fuller and more meaningful by helping the interested reader not merely to read but also to understand Eco's masterful work. Inspired by pleas from friends and strangers, the authors, each trained in Classics, undertook to translate and explain the Latin phrases that pepper the story. They have produced an approachable, informative guide to the book and its setting--the middle ages. The Key includes an introduction to the book, the middle ages, Umberto Eco, and philosophical and literary theories; a useful chronology; and reference notes to historical people and events.
The clear explanations of the historical setting and players will be useful to anyone interested in a general introduction to medieval history.
Adele J. Haft is Associate Professor of Classics, Hunter College, City University of New York. Jane G. White is chair of the Department of Languages, Dwight Englewood School. Robert J. White is Professor of Classics and Oriental Studies, Hunter College, City University of New York.
Khaki & Blue: Mis Af#51
Anthony Clayton Ohio University Press, 1989 Library of Congress HV8267.A2C53 1989 | Dewey Decimal 363.209660097521
Drawing upon a survey of former police officers in the six British colonies of Ghana, Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Zambia, and Malawi, Clayton and Killingray examine the work of colonial law enforcement during the last years of British supremacy. In addition to such basic institutional information as the development of police forces from local militia, the training of African recruits, and the africanization of the police forces, the authors examine the typical activities of the colonial police. From investigations of stabbings and theft, to deportation of prostitutes and concern with smuggling, to enforcement of unpopular policies, the authors offer a profile not only of the institution of colonial law enforcement but also of the daily life of the village and the business activities which brought people into contact with the police.
In The Kindness of Strangers, John Boswell argues persuasively that child abandonment was a common and morally acceptable practice from antiquity until the Renaissance. Using a wide variety of sources, including drama and mythological-literary texts as well as demographics, Boswell examines the evidence that parents of all classes gave up unwanted children, "exposing" them in public places, donating them to the church, or delivering them in later centuries to foundling hospitals. The Kindness of Strangers presents a startling history of the abandoned child that helps to illustrate the changing meaning of family.
What can we know of the private lives of early British sovereigns? Through the unusually large number of letters that survive from King James VI of Scotland/James I of England (1566-1625), we can know a great deal. Using original letters, primarily from the British Library and the National Library of Scotland, David Bergeron creatively argues that James' correspondence with certain men in his court constitutes a gospel of homoerotic desire. Bergeron grounds his provocative study on an examination of the tradition of letter writing during the Renaissance and draws a connection between homosexual desire and letter writing during that historical period.
King James, commissioner of the Bible translation that bears his name, corresponded with three principal male favorites—Esmé Stuart (Lennox), Robert Carr (Somerset), and George Villiers (Buckingham). Esmé Stuart, James' older French cousin, arrived in Scotland in 1579 and became an intimate adviser and friend to the adolescent king. Though Esmé was eventually forced into exile by Scottish nobles, his letters to James survive, as does James' hauntingly allegorical poem Phoenix. The king's close relationship with Carr began in 1607. James' letters to Carr reveal remarkable outbursts of sexual frustration and passion.
A large collection of letters exchanged between James and Buckingham in the 1620s provides the clearest evidence for James' homoerotic desires. During a protracted separation in 1623, letters between the two raced back and forth. These artful, self-conscious letters explore themes of absence, the pleasure of letters, and a preoccupation with the body. Familial and sexual terms become wonderfully intertwined, as when James greets Buckingham as "my sweet child and wife."
King James and Letters of Homoerotic Desire presents a modern-spelling edition of seventy-five letters exchanged between Buckingham and James. Across the centuries, commentators have condemned the letters as indecent or repulsive. Bergeron argues that on the contrary they reveal an inward desire of king and subject in a mutual exchange of love.
In 1895 three African chiefs, dressed in the finest British clothing available, began a tour of the British Isles. That tour foiled Cecil Rhodes' grand plan for Africa and culminated in the Chamberlain Settlement, the document that indirectly led to the independence of present-day Botswana. King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen is the story of this bizarre journey, one of the most neglected events in British Victorian history, here revealed for the first time in its full detail and cultural complexity.
The chiefs initially went to England to persuade Queen Victoria not to give their lands to ruthless Rhodes and his British South Africa Company. Abandoned by the Secretary of State for the Colonies, Joseph Chamberlain, and denied an audience with the queen, the three rulers decided to tour the British Isles to plead their case to the populace. Appealing to the middle-class morality of Victorian society, the chiefs were remarkably successful in gaining support, eventually swaying Chamberlain into drafting the agreement that secured their territories against the encroachment of Rhodesia.
Historian Neil Parsons has reconstructed this journey with the help of African archival materials and news clippings from British papers, garnered from the clippings service the chiefs had the foresight to employ. In equal parts narrative of pilgrimage, voyage of discovery, and colonial resistance, King Khama, Emperor Joe, and the Great White Queen provides a view from the other side of colonialism and imperialism. It demonstrates the nuances of cultural and religious interaction between Africans and Europeans, and it does so with the richness and depth of a fully realized novel.
Louis XIV was a man in pursuit of glory. Not content to be the ruler of a world power, he wanted the power to rule the world. And, for a time, he came tantalizingly close.
Philip Mansel’s King of the World is the most comprehensive and up-to-date biography in English of this hypnotic, flawed figure who continues to captivate our attention. This lively work takes Louis outside Versailles and shows the true extent of his global ambitions, with stops in London, Madrid, Constantinople, Bangkok, and beyond. We witness the importance of his alliance with the Spanish crown and his success in securing Spain for his descendants, his enmity with England, and his relations with the rest of Europe, as well as Asia, Africa, and the Americas. We also see the king’s effect on the two great global diasporas of Huguenots and Jacobites, and their influence on him as he failed in his brutal attempts to stop Protestants from leaving France. Along the way, we are enveloped in the splendor of Louis’s court and the fascinating cast of characters who prostrated and plotted within it. King of the World is exceptionally researched, drawing on international archives and incorporating sources who knew the king intimately, including the newly released correspondence of Louis’s second wife, Madame de Maintenon. Mansel’s narrative flair is a perfect match for this grand figure, and he brings the Sun King’s world to vivid life.
This is a global biography of a global king, whose power was extensive but also limited by laws and circumstances, and whose interests and ambitions stretched far beyond his homeland. Through it all, we watch Louis XIV progressively turn from a dazzling, attractive young king to a belligerent reactionary who sets France on the path to 1789. It is a convincing and compelling portrait of a man who, three hundred years after his death, still epitomizes the idea of le grand monarque.
Winner of the New York Society of Colonial Wars Annual Book Award Fought in New York, New England, and Canada, the Conflict that Began the Long French and English Struggle for the New World
While much has been written on the French and Indian War of 1754–1763, the colonial conflicts that preceded it have received comparatively little attention. Yet in King William’s War, the first clash between England and France for control of North America, the patterns of conflict for the next seventy years were laid, as were the goals and objectives of both sides, as well as the realization that the colonies of the two nations could not coexist.
King William’s War actually encompassed several proxy wars being fought by the English and the French through their native allies. The Beaver Wars was a long running feud between the Iroquois Confederacy, New France, and New France’s native allies over control of the lucrative fur trade. Fueled by English guns and money, the Iroquois attempted to divert the French fur trade towards their English trading partners in Albany, and in the process gain control over other Indian tribes. To the east the pro-French Wabanaki of Maine, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick had earlier fought a war with New England, but English expansion and French urgings, aided by foolish moves and political blunders on the part of New England, erupted into a second Wabanaki War on the eve of King William’s War. Thus, these two conflicts officially became one with the arrival of news of a declaration of war between France and England in 1689. The next nine years saw coordinated attacks, including French assaults on Schenectady, New York, and Massachusetts, and English attacks around Montreal and on Nova Scotia. The war ended diplomatically, but started again five years later in Queen Anne’s War.
A riveting history full of memorable characters and events, and supported by extensive primary source material, King William’s War: The First Contest for North America, 1689–1697 by Michael G. Laramie is the first book-length treatment of a war that proved crucial to the future of North America.
The Kingdom of Rus'
Christian Raffensperger Arc Humanities Press, 2017 Library of Congress DK73.R238 2017 | Dewey Decimal 947.02
As scholarship continues to expand the idea of medieval Europe beyond "the West," the Rus' remain the final frontier relegated to the European periphery. The Kingdom of Rus' challenges the perception of Rus' as an eastern "other" – advancing the idea of the Rus' as a kingdom deeply integrated with medieval Europe, through an innovative analysis of medieval titles. Examining a wide range of medieval sources, this book exposes the common practice in scholarship of referring to Rusian rulers as princes as a relic of early modern attempts to diminish the Rus'. Not only was Rus' part and parcel of medieval Europe, but in the eleventh and twelfth centuries Rus' was the largest kingdom in Christendom.
Laura E. Wangerin challenges traditional views of the Ottonian Empire’s rulership. Drawing from a broad array of sources including royal and imperial diplomas, manuscript illuminations, and histories, Ottonian kingship and the administration of justice are investigated using traditional historical and comparative methodologies as well as through the application of innovative approaches such as modern systems theories. This study suggests that distinctive elements of the Ottonians’ governing apparatus, such as its decentralized structure, emphasis on the royal iter, and delegation of authority, were essential features of a highly developed political system. Kingship and Justice in the Ottonian Empire provides a welcome addition to English-language scholarship on the Ottonians, as well as to scholarship dealing with rulership and medieval legal studies.
Scholars have recognized the importance of ritual and symbolic behaviors in the Ottonian political sphere, while puzzling over the apparent lack of administrative organization, a contradiction between what we know about the Ottonians as successful rulers and their traditional characterization as rulers of a disorganized polity. Trying to account for the apparent disparity between their political and military achievements, cultural and artistic efflorescence, and relative dynastic stability, which seemingly accompanied a disinterest in writing law or creating a centralized hierarchical administration, is a tension that persists in the scholarship. This book argues that far from being accidental successes or employing primitive methods of governance, the Ottonians were shrewd rulers and administrators who exploited traditional methods of conflict resolution and delegated jurisdictional authority to keep control over their vast empire. Thus, one of the important things that this book aims to accomplish is to challenge our preconceived notions of what successful government looks like.
Conservative thinkers of the early Middle Ages conceived of sensual gratification as a demonic snare contrived to debase the higher faculties of humanity, and they identified pagan writing as one of the primary conduits of decadence. Two aspects of the pagan legacy were treated with particular distrust: fiction, conceived as a devious contrivance that falsified God’s order; and rhetorical opulence, viewed as a vain extravagance. Writing that offered these dangerous allurements came to be known as “hermaphroditic” and, by the later Middle Ages, to be equated with homosexuality.
At the margins of these developments, however, some authors began to validate fiction as a medium for truth and a source of legitimate enjoyment, while others began to explore and defend the pleasures of opulent rhetoric. Here David Rollo examines two such texts—Alain de Lille’s De planctu Naturae and Guillaume de Lorris and Jean de Meun’s Roman de la Rose—arguing that their authors, in acknowledging the liberating potential of their irregular written orientations, brought about a nuanced reappraisal of homosexuality. Rollo concludes with a consideration of the influence of the latter on Chaucer’s Pardoner’s Prologue and Tale.
This ambitious study sets out to discover what marriage meant in the daily lives of the nobles of the tenth, eleventh, and twelfth centuries. Through entertaining anecdotes, family dramas, and striking quotations, Duby succeeds in bringing his subjects to life, making us feel as if we understand the motives and conflicts of those who inhabited the distant past.
"It is typical of Duby's modest spirit and his book-long concern with the ancient status of beleaguered wives that he ends his study with a plea: 'We must not forget the women. Much has already been said about them. But how much do we really know?' Not everything, certainly, but far more than we did before the author began these charmingly erudite investigations."—Ken Turan, Time
"It is refreshing to find a historian who is always conscious that we simply do not know what or how people thought 1000 years ago. . . . Duby explains the complicated machinations of the medieval churchman and the paterfamilias in a scholarly but lively style."—Sarah Lawson, New Statesman
"Duby has written an extraordinarily rich book—a panoramic view of medieval marriage and the relations between men and women, full of arresting insights and human detail. . . . It is the work of a master historian at the peak of his powers on a subject of central relevance, compulsive and essential reading."—P. Stafford, British History
Georges Duby (1919-1996) was a member of the Académie française and for many years held the distinguished chair in medieval history at the Collège de France. His books include The Three Orders; The Age of Cathedrals; The Knight, the Lady, and the Priest; Love and Marriage in the Middle Ages; and History Continues, all published by the University of Chicago Press.
In the spring of 1900, British archaeologist Arthur Evans began to excavate the palace of Knossos on Crete, bringing ancient Greek legends to life just as a new century dawned amid far-reaching questions about human history, art, and culture. With Knossos and the Prophets of Modernism, Cathy Gere relates the fascinating story of Evans’s excavation and its long-term effects on Western culture. After the World War I left the Enlightenment dream in tatters, the lost paradise that Evans offered in the concrete labyrinth—pacifist and matriarchal, pagan and cosmic—seemed to offer a new way forward for writers, artists, and thinkers such as Sigmund Freud, James Joyce, Giorgio de Chirico, Robert Graves, and Hilda Doolittle.
Assembling a brilliant, talented, and eccentric cast at a moment of tremendous intellectual vitality and wrenching change, Cathy Gere paints an unforgettable portrait of the age of concrete and the birth of modernism.
Following the 1992 breakup of Yugoslavia, the region descended into a series of bloody conflicts marked by intense ethnic and religious hatreds. Kosovo emerged at the epicenter of these disputes and the site of innumerable human rights violations, as Serbia, united with Montenegro at the time, sought to remove the Albanian presence. Kosovo (roughly ninety percent Albanian) declared independence in 2008, and although it is recognized by over one hundred UN member states, it is still not recognized by Serbia.
This volume brings together scholars of Serbian, Albanian, Christian, and Muslim backgrounds to examine the Serbian-Albanian dynamic in Kosovo through historical, political, economic, and social perspectives. The contributors offer fresh insights on the consequences of internationalizing the conflict, the impact of international agencies and institutions since the 1999 intervention, the continuing human rights violations, present day party politics, and the prospects for economic cooperation with Serbia, among other topics. Kosovo and Serbia will inform scholars and students of the region, exploring the nature of a tragic political and strategic struggle that has existed for centuries and drawn the attention of the entire international community.
Alan E Steinweis Harvard University Press, 2009 Library of Congress DS134.255.S74 2009 | Dewey Decimal 940.531842
Kristallnacht revealed to the world the intent and extent of Nazi Judeophobia. However, it was seen essentially as the work of the Nazi leadership. Now, Alan Steinweis counters that view in his vision of Kristallnacht as a veritable pogrom - a popular cathartic convulsion of anti-Semitic violence that was manipulated from above but executed from below by large numbers of ordinary Germans rioting in the streets, heckling and taunting Jews, cheering Stormtroopers' hostility, and looting Jewish property on a massive scale.
In this accessible, unique study of a forgotten but noteworthy figure, the author tells the story of the life of Kurt Baschwitz (1886—1968), a scholar who fled from the Nazis. He wrote six books, never translated into English, on four related themes: the press, propaganda, politics, and persecution. Baschwitz independently developed concepts that are now seen as key to communication science and socialpsychology, and the author places Baschwitz’s ideas in the wider context of his dramatic life and times.
German artist Kurt Schwitters (1887–1948) is best known for his pioneering work in fusing collage and abstraction, the two most transformative innovations of twentieth-century art. Considered the father of installation art, Schwitters was also a theorist, a Dadaist, and a writer whose influence extends from Robert Rauschenberg and Eva Hesse to Thomas Hirschhorn. But while his early experiments in collage and installation from the interwar period have garnered much critical acclaim, his later work has generally been ignored. In the first book to fill this gap, Megan R. Luke tells the fascinating, even moving story of the work produced by the aging, isolated artist under the Nazi regime and during his years in exile.
Combining new biographical material with archival research, Luke surveys Schwitters’s experiments in shaping space and the development of his Merzbau, describing his haphazard studios in Scandinavia and the United Kingdom and the smaller, quieter pieces he created there. She makes a case for the enormous relevance of Schwitters’s aesthetic concerns to contemporary artists, arguing that his later work provides a guide to new narratives about modernism in the visual arts. These pieces, she shows, were born of artistic exchange and shaped by his rootless life after exile, and they offer a new way of thinking about the history of art that privileges itinerancy over identity and the critical power of humorous inversion over unambiguous communication. Packed with images, Kurt Schwitters completes the narrative of an artist who remains a considerable force today.
Roman Adrian Cybriwsky Amsterdam University Press, 2014
The unrest and violence in Ukraine shocked the world, and the region’s long-term future remains troublingly uncertain. Focusing on the difficulty of Kiev’s transition from socialism to market democracy, this book demonstrates how Ukraine reached this turbulent point. Roman Adrian Cybriwsky delves deeply into the changing social geography of the city, recent urban development, and critical problems such as official corruption, inequality, sex tourism, and the heedless destruction of the city’s historical architecture—all difficulties that have contributed incrementally to Ukrainian citizens’ anger against their government. This thoroughly revised edition offers the clearest picture we’ve had yet of what has happened—and what is likely still to come—in Ukraine.
The unrest and violence in Ukraine in recent years shocked the world, and the region's long-term future remains troublingly uncertain. Focusing on the difficulty of Kiev's transition from socialism to market democracy, this book demonstrates how Ukraine reached this turbulent point. Roman Adrian Cybriwsky delves deeply into the changing social geography of the city, recent urban development, and critical problems such as official corruption, inequality, sex tourism, and the heedless destruction of the city's historical architecture - all difficulties that have contributed incrementally to Ukrainian citizens' anger against their government. This thoroughly revised edition brings Cybriwsky's account of events and their ramifications fully up to date, offering the clearest picture we've had yet of what has happened - and what is likely still to come - in Ukraine.