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Mark Mazower: The Armenian Genocide, 8 April 2010

... American Samoa, a tiny remnant of old-fashioned gunboat diplomacy in the Pacific, is permitted to send a single member to the House of Representatives in Washington. He is not allowed to vote on the floor of the House – American Samoans are US nationals but not citizens – but thanks to an obscure procedural anomaly he can vote in committee. So it was that on 4 March Samoan Representative Eni Faleomavaega came to cast the deciding vote that passed the House Committee on Foreign Affairs resolution recognising the Armenian genocide ...

Waldheim goes to war

Mark Mazower, 23 June 1988

... Around noon on 16 August 1943, Dimitri Apostolou, a young Greek peasant, returned to his home village of Komeno in north-west Greece. German troops had just pulled out after a raid lasting some seven hours. In the charred ruins of the houses timbers were still burning. Corpses had begun to swell in the heat. The belly of one woman had been slit open, and a chicken had begun to drag her entrails along the road ...

Half-Infidels

Mark Mazower: Greece and Turkey’s Population Exchange, 3 August 2006

Twice a Stranger: How Mass Expulsion Forged Modern Greece and Turkey 
by Bruce Clark.
Granta, 274 pp., £20, March 2006, 1 86207 752 5
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... Live your myth in Greece,’ the Greek National Tourism Office urges us. This summer’s posters feature a young couple, children running along the beach behind them, while an anonymous columned temple hovers implausibly in the Aegean haze. Greece, it seems, has no history except ancient history. In Turkey, too, you can swim in the morning, and climb up to the theatre of ancient Pergamon the same afternoon ...

Under the Ustasha

Mark Mazower: Sarajevo, 1941-45, 6 October 2011

Sarajevo, 1941-45: Muslims, Christians and Jews in Hitler’s Europe 
by Emily Greble.
Cornell, 276 pp., £21.50, February 2011, 978 0 8014 4921 5
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... I last flew into Sarajevo on 28 June 1994. The besieged city was momentarily quiet. Forces loyal to Milosevic and Karadzic looked down from the hills, but a demilitarisation agreement was holding firm. On the drive from the airport, I shared a ride with an Austrian journalist, in town because it was 80 years to the day since Archduke Franz Ferdinand had been shot ...

Prizefighters

Mark Mazower: The UN, 22 March 2007

The Best Intentions: Kofi Annan and the UN in the Era of American Power 
by James Traub.
Bloomsbury, 442 pp., £20, November 2006, 0 7475 8087 1
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The Parliament of Man: The United Nations and the Quest for World Government 
by Paul Kennedy.
Allen Lane, 361 pp., £25, July 2006, 0 7139 9375 8
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... As you speed down the freeway from JFK towards the Manhattan skyline, it is easy to overlook a long, low, neoclassical building that stands by the lake in Flushing Meadow. Built for the 1939 World’s Fair as the New York City Building, it was turned into a wartime ice rink before becoming the first home of the United Nations. The skaters were banished, the decorators cleaned the place up, and in October 1946 President Truman delivered the opening address to the new General Assembly ...

Once there was a bridge named after him

Mark Mazower: Gavrilo Princip, 23 October 2014

The Trigger: Hunting the Assassin Who Brought the World to War 
by Tim Butcher.
Chatto, 326 pp., £18.99, May 2014, 978 0 7011 8793 4
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... When war came​ to Sarajevo in 1992 almost the only thing about the city known to the aid workers and journalists who made their way there was that it was the place where a Bosnian Serb assassin called Gavrilo Princip had started the First World War. Most had only the haziest notion of who had ruled Bosnia before the 20th century, or what had happened there after the war ended ...

Diary

Mark Mazower: In Thessaloniki, 22 November 2012

... I arrived in Thessaloniki at the end of October, one hundred years almost to the day after the Greeks marched in to claim the city, ending centuries of Ottoman rule. I’d been invited to a conference commemorating the centenary but it was the current crisis that was on everyone’s mind. A general strike called to protest against the Eurozone summit had just ended ...

One of Hitler’s Inflatables

Mark Mazower: Quisling, 20 January 2000

Quisling: A Study in Treachery 
by Hans Fredrik Dahl, translated by Anne-Marie Stanton-Ife.
Cambridge, 452 pp., £30, May 1999, 0 521 49697 7
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... It was not always easy being a Fascist prophet in interwar Europe. The local electorate seemed deaf to one’s warnings and strangely faithful to old, uncharismatic Conservatives or stolid Labour leaders. Mussolini and Hitler were exhilarating examples of success, but they seemed to scare off as many potential recruits to the cause as they attracted ...

The Nazis were less harsh

Mark Mazower: Mischka Danos, 7 February 2019

Mischka’s War: A Story of Survival from War-Torn Europe to New York 
by Sheila Fitzpatrick.
I.B. Tauris, 336 pp., £20, June 2017, 978 1 78831 022 2
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... In​ 1989, the Soviet historian Sheila Fitzpatrick, well known to readers of the LRB, was on a plane when the passenger next to her struck up a conversation. She’d been watching him write a letter in French and on that basis assumed he was French. Given her accent he thought at first that she was Danish. Later it seemed appropriate to her that their first conversation had been about language and labels and the confusion of belonging ...

The G-Word

Mark Mazower: The Armenian Massacres, 8 February 2001

The Treatment of Armenians in the Ottoman Empire, 1915-16: Documents Presented to Viscount Grey of Falloden by Viscount Bryce Uncensored Edition 
by James Bryce and Arnold Toynbee, edited by Ara Sarafian.
Gomidas Institute, 677 pp., £32, December 2000, 0 9535191 5 5
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... Last October James Rogan, a Republican congressman from California, and manager of the impeachment campaign against Clinton, faced the prospect of a tight re-election battle. His district had been targeted by the Democrats. Crucial to the outcome was the largest concentration of Armenian Americans in the US. To garner their 23,000 votes, Rogan – whose only-ever excursion outside the country was a trip to Armenia – proposed a non-binding Congressional resolution condemning the genocide of 1915 ...

Let’s Learn from the English

Richard J. Evans: The Nazi Empire, 25 September 2008

Hitler’s Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe 
by Mark Mazower.
Allen Lane, 726 pp., £30, June 2008, 978 0 7139 9681 4
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... turning to a more obvious area in which to establish German colonial dominance: Eastern Europe. Mark Mazower begins Hitler’s Empire, his sweeping survey of Nazi rule in Europe, with an account of the emergence in late 19th-century Germany and Austria of the idea that the struggle between races for the survival of the fittest required the creation of ...
Dark Continent: Europe’s 20th Century 
by Mark Mazower.
Penguin, 496 pp., £20, March 1998, 0 7139 9159 3
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... combined with creative acts of will to make possible the first step towards a united Europe.’ Mark Mazower’s splendid new book is a kind of anti-Duroselle. It tells ‘a story of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists, not inevitable victories and forward marches’. It argues that each of the three great ideologies competing for the loyalties of ...

New World Chaos

Rodric Braithwaite, 24 January 2013

Governing the World: The History of an Idea 
by Mark Mazower.
Allen Lane, 475 pp., £25, October 2012, 978 0 7139 9683 8
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... Mark Mazower has written many elegant but gloomy books about the unending capacity of the Europeans to destroy one another. His new book is elegant, perceptive, stimulating and erudite. It deals with the attempts to create institutions that would bring economic and political order not only to Europe, but to mankind in general, to find a way of bringing to an end the Hobbesian chaos of war between nations with its casual massacres of civilians and organised slaughter on the battlefield ...

Lukashenko’s Way

Jonathan Steele, 27 September 2012

Belarus: The Last European Dictatorship 
by Andrew Wilson.
Yale, 304 pp., £20, October 2011, 978 0 300 13435 3
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The Last Dictatorship in Europe: Belarus under Lukashenko 
by Brian Bennett.
Hurst, 358 pp., £30, January 2012, 978 1 84904 167 6
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... just as few know that Belarus also saw one of the great military offensives of the war. Citing Mark Mazower, Wilson argues that the Soviet army’s Operation Bagration during the summer of 1944 was the most successful surprise attack in history. It did the German Army as much damage proportionally as the better-known battles of Stalingrad and ...

After Kemal

Perry Anderson, 25 September 2008

... congresses now rival United Russia in acclamations of its leader, that is not necessarily a black mark in a tradition that respects authoritarianism as a sign of strength. The weaknesses in Erdogan’s public image lie elsewhere. Choleric and umbrageous, he is vulnerable to ridicule in the press, suing journalists by the dozen for unfavourable coverage of ...

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