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Charles Maier, 18 November 1993

German Resistance against Hitler: The Search for Allies Abroad 1938-1945 
by Klemens von Klemperer.
Oxford, 487 pp., £45, April 1992, 0 19 821940 7
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... With the collapse of Communism and the disorientation of the Marxist Left, a poignant revaluation has overtaken the history of the European Resistance in World War Two. The gradual disappearance of the survivors would in itself have led to a dissipation of the Resistance’s sacred aura; but politics as well as demography is now at work. Of course, the history of the Resistance has always been especially vulnerable: for four decades in Italy it served to legitimate the vision of a Left that could embrace Communists and non-Communists alike; in France it justified the creation of the Gaullist Republic; in Yugoslavia it helped for forty years to hold together a precarious nationhood; in the Soviet bloc it furnished credentials for the Communist Parties that monopolised power after Hitler’s armies had been cleared out ...
Plausible Worlds: Possibility and Understanding in History and the Social Sciences 
by Geoffrey Hawthorn.
Cambridge, 192 pp., £27.50, September 1991, 0 521 40359 6
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New Philosophy of Social Science: Problems of Indeterminacy 
by James Bohman.
Polity, 273 pp., £35, October 1991, 0 7456 0632 6
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... it makes no sense to discuss whether or not it might have occurred had Peter the Great rather than Charles XII lost at Poltava. Too many events have intervened to establish any plausible chains of causation. On the other hand, the price of the counter-factual closer to the event is that it will fail to illuminate the broad spectrum of causative factors and put ...

Was it unavoidable?

Christoph Bertram, 18 September 1997

Dissolution: The Crisis of Communism and the End of East Germany 
by Charles Maier.
Princeton, 376 pp., £21.95, June 1997, 0 691 01158 3
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... The reasons were many, though their respective weight remains a matter of speculation. Perhaps, as Charles Maier suggests in the few passages of his book devoted to Soviet thought processes, they had made the strategic choice of opening up to a Europe in which they attributed the key role to Bonn, thereby relegating East Germany to the status of an ...

El Casino Macabre

James Morone: Rebellion of the Rich, 21 June 2007

Wall Street: A Cultural History 
by Steve Fraser.
Faber, 656 pp., £12.99, April 2006, 0 571 21829 6
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Among Empires: American Ascendancy and Its Predecessors 
by Charles S. Maier.
Harvard, 373 pp., £18.95, May 2006, 0 674 02189 4
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... If ‘history’s little joke’ offers one important answer for the state of American politics, Charles Maier finds another, in the dynamics of empire. In Among Empires, Maier asks whether the US is an empire and answers with a yes and a no. It is certainly a great power grappling with the seductions of empire. And ...

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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... doctrinaire Marxism is the last obstacle on Germany’s road to democracy. An American scholar, Charles Maier of Harvard, has followed the historians’ dispute and written a commentary on it. The nonce word in his title raises expectations of originality which the book doesn’t fulfil. His summaries of the main contributions are useful, fair, and ...

The Forty Years’ Peace

Keith Kyle, 21 October 1993

The United States and the End of the Cold War: Implications, Reconsiderations and Provocations 
by John Lewis Gaddis.
Oxford, 301 pp., £19.50, July 1992, 0 19 505201 3
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Dean Acheson: The Cold War Years, 1953-71 
by Douglas Brinkley.
Yale, 429 pp., £22, February 1993, 0 300 04773 8
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The Quest for Stability: Problems of West European Security 1918-1957 
edited by Rolf Ahmann, A.M. Birke and Michael Howard.
Oxford, 546 pp., £50, June 1993, 0 19 920503 5
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... Attlee, who was faced with the chiefs’ threatened resignation at the beginning of 1947; and Charles Maier on the dominant role of the United States and the dollar in organising the ...

Feed the Charm

Adewale Maja-Pearce: Political violence in Africa, 25 July 2002

In the Shadow of a Saint: A Son’s Journey to Understand His Father’s Legacy 
by Ken Wiwa.
Black Swan, 320 pp., £7.99, January 2002, 0 552 99891 5
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This House Has Fallen: Nigeria in Crisis 
by Karl Maier.
Penguin, 327 pp., £9.99, February 2002, 0 14 029884 3
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The Mask of Anarchy: The Destruction of Liberia and the Religious Dimension of an African Civil War 
by Stephen Ellis.
Hurst, 350 pp., £40, November 1999, 1 85065 417 4
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... transfer of money abroad. Ken Saro-Wiwa was hardly a saint. In This House Has Fallen, Karl Maier, an American journalist who has spent many years reporting from all over Africa, gives Saro-Wiwa an entire chapter. Unlike Ken Wiwa, he delves deeply into the activities of Shell, and gives an instance in 1990 when the company called in the dreaded Mobile ...

‘Faustus’ and the Politics of Magic

Charles Nicholl, 8 March 1990

Dr Faustus 
by Christopher Marlowe, edited by Roma Gill.
Black, 109 pp., £3.95, December 1989, 0 7136 3231 3
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Renaissance Magic and the Return of the Golden Age: The Occult Tradition and Marlowe, Jonson and Shakespeare 
by John Mebane.
Nebraska, 309 pp., £26.95, July 1989, 0 8032 3133 4
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Robert Fludd and the End of the Renaissance 
by William Huffman.
Routledge, 252 pp., £30, November 1989, 0 415 00129 3
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Prophecy and Power: Astrology in Early Modern England 
by Patrick Curry.
Polity, 238 pp., £27.50, September 1989, 0 7456 0604 0
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... and little is known about its chief apologists: Johann Valentin Andreae, Adam Haselmayer, Michael Maier et al. But whatever their provenance and purpose, the manifestos exemplify this conjunction of occultist aspirations with the kind of utopian, pacifist, New Age politics later to be heard in the more militant quarters of the Civil War. This potentially ...

Steamy, Seamy

David Margolick: The Mob’s Cuban Kleptocracy, 20 March 2008

The Havana Mob: Gangsters, Gamblers, Showgirls and Revolutionaries in 1950s Cuba 
by T.J. English.
Mainstream, 400 pp., £17.99, September 2007, 978 1 84596 192 3
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... they offered the kind of Hollywood freeze-frame Woody Allen spoofed in Take the Money and Run: Charles ‘Lucky’ Luciano, the legendary mobster Lansky helped spring from an American prison long before he finished his 30-to-50-year sentence for running a prostitution racket; Vito Genovese, a famous killer; Albert Anastasia, head of the so-called ...

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