In this book, Gary P. Steenson offers new interpretations of the history and nature of socialist movements in Germany, France, Austria, and Italy, from after Karl Marx's death until World War I. Based largely on Friedrich Engels's correspondence and those of other socialist party leaders, Steenson analyzes Engels's view of European politics and those of his strategic counsel. He also derives the standards of Marxian orthodoxy from party publications and the political press. The central importance of Engels is clear, as is the seductive appeal of his frequently insightful, often misguided counsel to working politicians. Steenson also finds that this period saw no contradiction in adherence to Marxism and full participation in democratic, representative politics-and that in those countries where democratic forms did not exist, Marxists led the struggle to obtain them.
In 1880, coal was the primary energy source for everything from home heating to industry. Regions where coal was readily available, such as the Ruhr Valley in Germany and western Pennsylvania in the United States, witnessed exponential growth-yet also suffered the greatest damage from coal pollution.
These conditions prompted civic activism in the form of “anti-smoke” campaigns to attack the unsightly physical manifestations of coal burning. This early period witnessed significant cooperation between industrialists, government, and citizens to combat the smoke problem. It was not until the 1960s, when attention shifted from dust and grime to hazardous invisible gases, that cooperation dissipated, and protests took an antagonistic turn.
The Age of Smoke presents an original, comparative history of environmental policy and protest in the United States and Germany. Dividing this history into distinct eras (1880 to World War I, interwar, post-World War II to 1970), Frank Uekoetter compares and contrasts the influence of political, class, and social structures, scientific communities, engineers, industrial lobbies, and environmental groups in each nation. He concludes with a discussion of the environmental revolution, arguing that there were indeed two environmental revolutions in both countries: one societal, where changing values gave urgency to air pollution control, the other institutional, where changes in policies tried to catch up with shifting sentiments.
Focusing on a critical period in environmental history, The Age of Smoke provides a valuable study of policy development in two modern industrial nations, and the rise of civic activism to combat air pollution. As Uekoetter's work reveals, the cooperative approaches developed in an earlier era offer valuable lessons and perhaps the best hope for future progress.
Recognizing that a work of art is the product of a particular time and place as much as it is the creation of an individual, Duby provides a sweeping survey of the changing mentalities of the Middle Ages as reflected in the art and architecture of the period.
"If Age of the Cathedrals has a fault, it is that Professor Duby knows too much, has too many new ideas and takes such a delight in setting them out. . . insights whiz to and fro like meteorites."—John Russell, New York Times Book Review
Herewith an historical journey from the third century to the multiethnic metropolis of the twentieth century, bringing together two diverse histories of the city. Ancient Alexandria was built by the Greek Ptolemies who in thirty years completed the first lighthouse and the grand library and museum which functioned as a university with the emphasis on science, known as 'The Alexandrian School', attracting scholars from all over the ancient world. Two of the most eminent were Euclid, the father of geometry, and Claudios Ptolemy, writer of The Almagest, a book on astronomy. These are the oldest surviving science textbooks and the city was known as "the birthplace of science". Herein there are stories about scientists, poets and religious philosophers, responsible for influencing the western mind with their writings. Modern Alexandria was rebuilt in 1805 by multiethnic communities who created a successful commercial city and port with an enviable life-style for its inhabitants for 150 years. In 1952 the Free Officers of the Egyptian Army masterminded a coup to free the country from the monarchy and British domination. In 1956 the socialist regime under Colonel Gamal Abdel Nasser closed the Suez Canal, resulting in the Anglo-French-Israeli invasion. This outburst of Egyptian nationalism and military revolution by this understandably anti-Western regime included the confiscation of property belonging to foreigners and the subsequent mass exodus of business and artisan classes that hitherto had made the city so successful. The author was an eye-witness to these events and he sets out the political errors and failures of both Egyptian and Western leaders. The legacy of the resulting political and social confusions is deeply apparent in the continuing unrest in the Middle East, and in particular in Egypt.
Today, the literary patronage of Alfonso X 'the Learned' of Castile (1252-1284) seems extraordinary for its time in the context of Europe. His cultural programme, which promoted his royal status and imperial ambitions, was hugely ambitious, and the paucity of information about the intellectual circumstances in which it took place magnifies the scope of Alfonso's achievements still further. This book argues that rather than providing a new cultural template for his kingdoms, Alfonso did little to promote institutional learning and preferred instead to direct the literary works he commissioned to a restricted, courtly audience who would understand the complex layers of symbolism in the representations of him that accompanied the texts. Despite this careful control, this book cites codicological and paleographical evidence to show that some codices traditionally ascribed to the royal scriptorium were copied at the behest of readers beyond the king's immediate circle.
Rescuing the premodern family from the grim picture many historians have given us of life in early Europe, Ancestors offers a major reassessment of a crucial aspect of European history--and tells a story of age-old domesticity inextricably linked, and surprisingly similar, to our own.
An elegant summa on family life in Europe past, this compact and powerful book extends and completes a project begun with Steven Ozment's When Fathers Ruled: Family Life in Reformation Europe (Harvard). Here Ozment, the leading historian of the family in the middle centuries, replaces the often miserable depiction of premodern family relations with a delicately nuanced portrait of a vibrant and loving social group. Mining the records of families' private lives--from diaries and letters to fiction and woodcuts--Ozment shows us a preindustrial family not very different from the later family of high industry that is generally viewed as the precursor to the sentimental nuclear family of today.
In Ancestors, we see the familiar pattern of a domestic wife and working father in a home in which spousal and parental love were amply present: parents cherished their children, wives were helpmeets in providing for the family, and the genders were nearly equal. Contrary to the abstractions of history, parents then--as now--were sensitive to the emotional and psychological needs of their children, treated them with affection, and gave them a secure early life and caring preparation for adulthood.
As it recasts familial history, Ancestors resonates beyond its time, revealing how much the story of the premodern family has to say to a modern society that finds itself in the throes of a family crisis.
This book is a project in comparative history, but along two distinct axes, one historical and the other historiographical. Its purpose is to constructively juxtapose the early modern European and Chinese approaches to historical study that have been called "antiquarian." As an exercise in historical recovery, the essays in this volume amass new information about the range of antiquarian-type scholarship on the past, on nature, and on peoples undertaken at either end of the Eurasian landmass between 1500 and 1800. As a historiographical project, the book challenges the received---and often very much under conceptualized---use of the term "antiquarian" in both European and Chinese contexts. Readers will not only learn more about the range of European and Chinese scholarship on the past---and especially the material past---but they will also be able to integrate some of the historiographical observations and corrections into new ways of conceiving of the history of historical scholarship in Europe since the Renaissance, and to reflect on the impact of these European terms on Chinese approaches to the Chinese past. This comparison is a two-way street, with the European tradition clarified by knowledge of Chinese practices, and Chinese approaches better understood when placed alongside the European ones.
"The art historian after Erwin Panofsky and Ernst Gombrich is not only participating in an activity of great intellectual excitement; he is raising and exploring issues which lie very much at the centre of psychology, of the sciences and of history itself. Svetlana Alpers's study of 17th-century Dutch painting is a splendid example of this excitement and of the centrality of art history among current disciples. Professor Alpers puts forward a vividly argued thesis. There is, she says, a truly fundamental dichotomy between the art of the Italian Renaissance and that of the Dutch masters. . . . Italian art is the primary expression of a 'textual culture,' this is to say of a culture which seeks emblematic, allegorical or philosophical meanings in a serious painting. Alberti, Vasari and the many other theoreticians of the Italian Renaissance teach us to 'read' a painting, and to read it in depth so as to elicit and construe its several levels of signification. The world of Dutch art, by the contrast, arises from and enacts a truly 'visual culture.' It serves and energises a system of values in which meaning is not 'read' but 'seen,' in which new knowledge is visually recorded."—George Steiner, Sunday Times
"There is no doubt that thanks to Alpers's highly original book the study of the Dutch masters of the seventeenth century will be thoroughly reformed and rejuvenated. . . . She herself has the verve, the knowledge, and the sensitivity to make us see familiar sights in a new light."—E. H. Gombrich, New York Review of Books
An insightful account of the challenges of neutrality in an era of total war, The Art of Staying Neutral shows how the Netherlands remained peaceful throughout World War I. This sustained neutrality, Maartje Abbenhuis demonstrates, was the result of many factors, including masterly diplomacy, careful adherence to international laws and a decisive measure of good fortune. Neutrality, however, did not come without considerable costs to the nation’s economy and security.
This book is a major contribution both to the study of neutrality and the domestic history of the Netherlands.
In November 2004, the controversial Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh was killed on a busy street in Amsterdam. A twenty-six-year-old Dutch citizen of Moroccan descent shot van Gogh, slit his throat, and pinned a five-page indictment of Western society to his body. The murder set off a series of reactions, including arson against Muslim schools and mosques. In The Assassination of Theo van Gogh, Ron Eyerman explores the multiple meanings of the murder and the different reactions it elicited: among the Amsterdam-based artistic and intellectual subculture, the wider Dutch public, the local and international Muslim communities, the radical Islamic movement, and the broader international community. After meticulously analyzing the actions and reputations of van Gogh and others in his milieu, the motives of the murderer, and the details of the assassination itself, Eyerman considers the various narrative frames the mass media used to characterize the killing.
Eyerman utilizes theories of social drama and cultural trauma to evaluate the reactions to and effects of the murder. A social drama is triggered by a public transgression of taken-for-granted norms; one that threatens the collective identity of a society may develop into a cultural trauma. Eyerman contends that the assassination of Theo van Gogh quickly became a cultural trauma because it resonated powerfully with the postwar psyche of the Netherlands. As part of his analysis of the murder and reactions to it, he discusses significant aspects of twentieth-century Dutch history, including the country’s treatment of Jews during the German occupation, the loss of its colonies in the wake of World War II, its recruitment of immigrant workers, and the failure of Dutch troops to protect Muslims in Srebrenica in 1995.
A comparative history of material life in western Europe and East Asia.
Large-scale comparative economic history of westernmost and easternmost Eurasia provides insight into our global history. Atlas of Material Life highlights the main characteristics of the economic landscape in Great Britain, the Netherlands, China, and Japan between the fifteenth and nineteenth centuries. It demonstrates the constraints to which all pre-industrial economies were subjected but also the different ways in which the societies discussed dealt with those challenges. Replete with maps, graphs, and accessible figures, this transnational study offers fresh insight into the economy of limited possibilities and humanity’s ever-evolving relationship to resources.