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The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux 2016
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Winner of the Tomlinson Book Prize
A Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2016

An epic, groundbreaking account of the ethnic and state violence that followed the end of World War I—conflicts that would shape the course of the twentieth century.

For the Western Allies, November 11, 1918, has always been a solemn date—the end of fighting that had destroyed a generation, but also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of the principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.
In The Vanquished, a highly original and gripping work of history, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western Front that proved so ruinous to Europe's future, but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were savaged by revolutions, pogroms, mass expulsions, and further major military clashes. In the years immediately after the armistice, millions would die across central, eastern, and southeastern Europe before the Soviet Union and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states would come into being. It was here, in the ruins of Europe, that extreme ideologies such as fascism would take shape and ultimately emerge triumphant.
As absorbing in its drama as it is unsettling in its analysis, The Vanquished is destined to transform our understanding of not just the First World War but the twentieth century as a whole.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
11/15/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780374710682
ASIN:
B01ERPCBUK

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APA Citation (style guide)

Robert Gerwarth. (2016). The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Robert Gerwarth. 2016. The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End. Farrar, Straus and Giroux.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Robert Gerwarth, The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Robert Gerwarth. The Vanquished: Why the First World War Failed to End. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.

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fullDescription

Winner of the Tomlinson Book Prize
A Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2016

An epic, groundbreaking account of the ethnic and state violence that followed the end of World War I—conflicts that would shape the course of the twentieth century.

For the Western Allies, November 11, 1918, has always been a solemn date—the end of fighting that had destroyed a generation, but also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of the principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.
In The Vanquished, a highly original and gripping work of history, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western Front that proved so ruinous to Europe's future, but the devastating aftermath, as countries on both sides of the original conflict were savaged by revolutions, pogroms, mass expulsions, and further major military clashes. In the years immediately after the armistice, millions would die across central, eastern, and southeastern Europe before the Soviet Union and a series of rickety and exhausted small new states would come into being. It was here, in the ruins of Europe, that extreme ideologies such as fascism would take shape and ultimately emerge triumphant.
As absorbing in its drama as it is unsettling in its analysis, The Vanquished is destined to transform our understanding of not just the First World War but the twentieth century as a whole.

reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: Margaret MacMillan, The New York Times Book Review
      • content:

        "[Gerwarth's] account is both important and timely, and obliges us to reconsider a period and a battle front that has too often been neglected by historians . . . Well-researched and engrossing."

      • premium: False
      • source: Brendan Simms, The Wall Street Journal
      • content: "For many of the Great War's defeated nations and peoples, as Robert Gerwarth shows brilliantly in The Vanquished, the full course of strife and bloodshed ended only in late 1923 . . . Based on a staggering range of primary materials and secondary literature, The Vanquished fills a vast canvas . . . [A] path-breaking study."
      • premium: False
      • source: Steve Donoghue, Open Letters Monthly
      • content: "Utterly fascinating . . . [The Vanquished] probes deeply into an area of this intensely-studied war that comparatively few studies take on at such length and detail . . . The long after-effects of the Great War are painted with comprehensive skill in these pages; it's an account unlike any other in the crowded field of WWI studies . . . Vital reading, essential for any student of the First World War."
      • premium: False
      • source: Max Hastings, The Sunday Times
      • content: "This narrative of continent-wide chaos makes it easier to understand why order came to seem a supremely desirable objective in 1930s Europe, trumping freedom . . . it helps us understand why few wars reach tidy conclusions: once a society has suspended its instinctive, social and legal prejudice against killing, it often proves hard to restore."
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        September 26, 2016
        In this controversial, persuasive, and impressively documented book, Gerwarth (Hitler’s Hangman), professor of modern history at University College Dublin, analyzes a war that was supposed to end war, yet was followed by “no peace, only continuous violence.” The war’s nature changed in its final years: Russia underwent a revolution, and the Western Allies committed themselves to breaking up the continental empires. The postwar violence was “more ungovernable” than the state-legitimated version of the preceding century. Gerwarth establishes his case in three contexts. The Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary, enjoyed a taste of victory in the winter of 1917–18, only to suffer the shock of seeing their military, political, and diplomatic positions quickly collapse. Russia’s revolution immersed Eastern Europe in what seemed a “forever war” of only fleeting democratic triumphs. Fear of Bolshevism in turn stimulated the rise of fascism. And the Versailles negotiations proved unable to control the collapse of prewar empires, much less guide their reconstruction along proto-Wilsonian lines. The period of relative stability after 1923 was a function of exhaustion rather than reconstruction, Gerwarth ruefully notes, and by 1929 Europe was “plunging back once again into crisis and violent disorder” that set the stage for the Great War’s second round. Maps & illus. Agent: Andrew Wylie, Wylie Agency.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        September 15, 2016
        The first study of the disorders that shook all the defeated states of Europe following World War I.For the nations that lost the war, the fighting did not end with the armistice in November 1918. On the contrary, Gerwarth (Modern History/Univ. College, Dublin; Hitler's Hangman: The Life of Heydrich, 2011, etc.) asserts that between 1918 and 1923, postwar Europe was "the most violent place on the planet." Russia, of course, was swept up in its own revolution and civil war. While the victors connived in Paris to reorganize a continent previously dominated by land empires into one composed of nation-states, from the Baltic to the Caucasus, the territories of the collapsed Austro-Hungarian, German, and Ottoman empires were torn by civil wars and revolutions of their own and by interstate wars like the ill-advised Greek invasion of Turkey in 1919. As a result, writes Gerwarth, "none of the defeated states of the Great War managed to return to anything like pre-war levels of domestic stability and internal peace." Although the 1923 Conference of Lausanne ended the Greco-Turkish conflict and marked the exhaustion of this spasm of violence, the author contends that it laid the foundation for later ethnic cleansing because it "established the legal right of state governments to expel large parts of their citizens on the grounds of 'otherness.' It fatally undermined cultural, ethnic and religious plurality as an ideal." In this extensively researched and crisply written account, Gerwarth explores the political and military upheavals throughout central Europe, including those in unfamiliar nations like Bulgaria and radically dismembered Hungary. The author's consistent focus on national governments, paramilitary groups like the various German Freikorps, and statistical counts of victims of violence and famine at the expense of personal experiences of ordinary people caught up in the chaos sometimes renders the narrative a little dry, but it is certainly authoritative. A thorough explanation for the rise of the nationalist and fascist groups who set the stage for World War II.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        October 1, 2016

        Historian Gerwarth (modern history, Univ. Coll. Dublin; Hitler's Hangman) writes an accessible and astute account of the interwar period, specifically the post-World War I years between 1918 and 1923. The author effectively details changes in violence after the end of World War I as postwar Europe devolved into interstate wars between Poland and the Soviet Union, Greece and Turkey, and Romania and Hungary along with several civil wars (e.g., Finland, Ireland, and Germany). The result of this bloodshed emerged in the 1920s as two radically different ideologies, Bolshevism and Facism, both of which led to violence in several countries such as the Red Terror in Russia and the rise of Benito Mussolini in Italy. Gerwarth succeeds in describing the sectarian violence, economic insecurity, and blame of "the other" (more often than not, Jewish communities) that was born out of the Great War and led to an even bloodier battle. Readers of European history will find much to contemplate. VERDICT This work does not have the glamour of World War theater, but it adequately provides an important bridge between two massive conflicts that still resonate with us today.--Keith Klang, Port Washington P.L., NY

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        November 1, 2016
        On November 11, 1918, the guns fell silent as an armistice officially ended the fighting in what was then called the Great War. But, as historian Gerwarth illustrates, the slaughter and massive dislocation continued well into the following decade in central, eastern, and southern Europe. By 1918, the great European empiresRussia, Austro-Hungary, and Ottoman Turkeyhad collapsed. These multiethnic, multilingual anachronisms were oppressive and inherently unstable, yet they kept the lid on a welter of seething hopes, resentments, and hatred that now boiled over. The most massive of these explosions of violence was in Russia, where civil war pitted Whites against the Bolsheviks. Greeks, Turks, various southern Slavic groups, and German-speaking communities also went after each other, motivated by religion, ultra-nationalism, or political hostility, both with conventional armies and, more commonly, within small towns and villages where mixed ethnic and religious populations fought each other. Sadly, the end of these struggles was no end at all as WWII loomed. This is difficult, often horrifying reading, but Gerwarth provides an essential contribution to our understanding of the interwar years.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

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Winner of the Tomlinson Book Prize
A Times Literary Supplement Best Book of 2016

An epic, groundbreaking account of the ethnic and state violence that followed the end of World War I—conflicts that would shape the course of the twentieth century.

For the Western Allies, November 11, 1918, has always been a solemn date—the end of fighting that had destroyed a generation, but also a vindication of a terrible sacrifice with the total collapse of the principal enemies: the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and the Ottoman Empire. But for much of the rest of Europe this was a day with no meaning, as a continuing, nightmarish series of conflicts engulfed country after country.
In The Vanquished, a highly original and gripping work of history, Robert Gerwarth asks us to think again about the true legacy of the First World War. In large part it was not the fighting on the Western Front that proved so ruinous to Europe's...

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