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Germans and the German Past

J.P. Stern, 21 December 1989

The Unmasterable Past: History, Holocaust and German National Identity 
by Charles Maier.
Harvard, 227 pp., £17.95, November 1988, 0 674 92975 6
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Piper, 397 pp., DM 17.80, July 1987, 3 492 10816 4Show More
In Hitler’s Shadow: West German Historians and the Attempt to Escape from the Nazi Past 
by Richard Evans.
Tauris, 196 pp., £12.95, October 1989, 1 85043 146 9
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Why did the heavens not darken? 
by Arno Mayer.
Verso, 510 pp., £19.95, October 1989, 0 86091 267 1
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A German Identity, 1770-1990 
by Harold James.
Weidenfeld, 240 pp., £16.95, March 1989, 9780297795049
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Die Republikaner: Phantombild der neuen Rechten 
by Claus Leggewie.
Rotbuch, 155 pp., May 1989, 3 88022 011 5
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Ich war dabei 
by Franz Schönhuber.
Langen Müller, 356 pp., April 1989, 3 7844 2249 7
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... thesis has some striking affinities with a book whose intentions are very different. Arno Mayer, Professor of European History at Princeton University, takes his title, Why did the heavens not darken?, from Solomon bar Simson’s chronicle of the massacres of the Jews of Mainz in 1096: but the book’s motto could well be Ernst Bloch’s ubi ...

Between Jesus and Napoleon

Jonathan Haslam: The Paris Conference of 1919, 15 November 2001

Peacemakers: The Paris Conference of 1919 and Its Attempt to End War 
by Margaret MacMillan.
Murray, 574 pp., £25, September 2001, 0 7195 5939 1
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... was made, controversially, half a century later and under the impact of the war in Vietnam, by Arno Mayer in Politics and Diplomacy of Peacemaking. Mayer reintroduced the fractious realities of postwar domestic society into the consideration of the treaties and their fate. It seemed that his findings might be built ...

Dedicated to Democracy

Corey Robin: How the US did for Guatemala, 18 November 2004

The Last Colonial Massacre: Latin America in the Cold War 
by Greg Grandin.
Chicago, 311 pp., £40, October 2004, 0 226 30571 6
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... the most anti-Communist of anti-Communism’s ‘action intellectuals’, to borrow a phrase from Arno Mayer – was forced by the challenge of Marxism to offer an economic and political programme that tallied, however minimally, the persistent effects of colonialism throughout the postcolonial world. But the collapse of Communism and disappearance of ...

Some Damn Foolish Thing

Thomas Laqueur: Wrong Turn in Sarajevo, 5 December 2013

The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 
by Christopher Clark.
Allen Lane, 697 pp., £30, September 2013, 978 0 7139 9942 6
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... the forty-year arms race; the system of alliances; the domestic politics of left and right; or, as Arno Mayer, one of my own teachers, argued, great architectonic pressures, which began to sweep away the old regimes of Europe in 1789 and finally succeeded by 1918. (Two empires and one kingdom that had been party to the Treaty of Vienna in 1815 were swept ...

Lectures about Heaven

Thomas Laqueur: Forgiving Germany, 7 June 2007

Five Germanys I Have Known 
by Fritz Stern.
Farrar, Straus, 560 pp., £11.25, July 2007, 978 0 374 53086 0
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... century’s greatest historians, who, though Austrian, was living in Berlin when he was expelled. Arno Mayer, a major historian of European diplomacy and political culture who ended up at Princeton, wasn’t politically presentable either. In any case, he was from Luxembourg, even if German was his mother tongue. And, one suspects, here too the feeling ...

Confronting Defeat

Perry Anderson: Hobsbawm’s Histories, 17 October 2002

... elites at the summit of state and society in the Belle Epoque, in the way that a historian like Arno Mayer has done. But it traces a ‘dissolution of the firm contours of the 19th-century bourgeoisie’ in the emergence of the modern corporation, the emancipation of women, and above all in the crisis of liberalism – a moral and ideological ...

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