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The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich
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When Germany surrendered in May 1945 it was a nation reduced to rubble. Immediately, America, Britain, Soviet Russia, and France set about rebuilding in their zones of occupation. Most urgent were physical needs—food, water, and sanitation—but from the start the Allies were also anxious to indoctrinate the German people in the ideas of peace and civilization. Denazification and reeducation would be key to future peace, and the arts were crucial guides to alternative, less militaristic ways of life. In an extraordinary extension of diplomacy, over the next four years, many writers, artists, actors, and filmmakers were dispatched by Britain and America to help rebuild the country their governments had spent years bombing. Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell, Lee Miller, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Billy Wilder, and others undertook the challenge of reconfiguring German society. In the end, many of them became disillusioned by the contrast between the destruction they were witnessing and the cool politics of reconstruction.While they may have had less effect on Germany than Germany had on them, the experiences of these celebrated figures, never before told, offer an entirely fresh view of post-war Europe. The Bitter Taste of Victory is a brilliant and important addition to the literature of World War II.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
05/17/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781632865533
ASIN:
B01D1R23EE
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Lara Feigel. (2016). The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Lara Feigel. 2016. The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Lara Feigel, The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Lara Feigel. The Bitter Taste of Victory: Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. 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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      • bioText: Dr Lara Feigel is a Senior Lecturer in English at King's College London, where her research is centred on the 1930s and the Second World War. She is the author of Literature, Cinema and Politics, 1930-1945 and the editor (with Alexandra Harris) of Modernism on Sea: Art and Culture at the British Seaside and (with John Sutherland) of the New Selected Journals of Stephen Spender. She has also written journalistic pieces for various publications, including the Guardian, Prospect and History Today. Lara lives in West Hampstead, London.
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shortDescription

When Germany surrendered in May 1945 it was a nation reduced to rubble. Immediately, America, Britain, Soviet Russia, and France set about rebuilding in their zones of occupation. Most urgent were physical needs—food, water, and sanitation—but from the start the Allies were also anxious to indoctrinate the German people in the ideas of peace and civilization.

Denazification and reeducation would be key to future peace, and the arts were crucial guides to alternative, less militaristic ways of life. In an extraordinary extension of diplomacy, over the next four years, many writers, artists, actors, and filmmakers were dispatched by Britain and America to help rebuild the country their governments had spent years bombing. Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell, Lee Miller, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Billy Wilder, and others undertook the challenge of reconfiguring German society. In the end, many of them became disillusioned by...

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title
The Bitter Taste of Victory
fullDescription

When Germany surrendered in May 1945 it was a nation reduced to rubble. Immediately, America, Britain, Soviet Russia, and France set about rebuilding in their zones of occupation. Most urgent were physical needs—food, water, and sanitation—but from the start the Allies were also anxious to indoctrinate the German people in the ideas of peace and civilization.

Denazification and reeducation would be key to future peace, and the arts were crucial guides to alternative, less militaristic ways of life. In an extraordinary extension of diplomacy, over the next four years, many writers, artists, actors, and filmmakers were dispatched by Britain and America to help rebuild the country their governments had spent years bombing. Ernest Hemingway, Martha Gellhorn, Marlene Dietrich, George Orwell, Lee Miller, W. H. Auden, Stephen Spender, Billy Wilder, and others undertook the challenge of reconfiguring German society. In the end, many of them became disillusioned by the contrast between the destruction they were witnessing and the cool politics of reconstruction.

While they may have had less effect on Germany than Germany had on them, the experiences of these celebrated figures, never before told, offer an entirely fresh view of post-war Europe. The Bitter Taste of Victory is a brilliant and important addition to the literature of World War II.

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      • premium: False
      • source: Library Journal
      • content: Essential for those interested in postwar Germany; the impact World War II had on the arts; and the role that individuals such as filmmaker Billy Wilder, writer Martha Gellhorn, and actress Marlene Dietrich had in rebuilding Germany.
      • premium: False
      • source: Wall Street Journal
      • content: [Feigel's] narrative is a fine balance of political insights, cultural observations and tabloid fodder . . . Feigel powerfully describes the destruction and suffering that these Americans and Brits confronted . . . The many private letters that Ms. Feigel cites proves to be particularly effective in capturing the artists' feeling and the mentality of the time. She also skilfully represents the predicament faced by these figures—and indeed by the civilized world
      • premium: False
      • source: The Los Angeles Review of Books
      • content: Intelligent and moving . . . Feigel is excellent at defining the moral and intellectual distinctions between this group and other writers and filmmakers who were both more forgiving and more hopeful of German redemption . . . . She is an exceptional storyteller, braiding the chronicles of exiled writers with life back in Germany. And the move is an intelligent way of showing that postwar cultural history has to be considered in a transcontinental light. . . . Feigel's book is one of the most original recreations of postwar Germany we have.
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: A well-constructed, fascinating, and anecdote-rich work about the early Cold War and the influence of postwar Germany on Western culture.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Guardian
      • content: Artists and writers would help rehabilitate the country and its people—to cleanse its poisoned soul . . . Lara Feigel's absorbing book relives the era in all its uncertainty, and delves into the irreconcilable differences and contradictions that would come to thwart the project . . . She makes a sympathetic narrator, and has certainly unearthed some fascinating material.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Independent
      • content: In her justly praised debut, The Love-charm of Bombs, Feigel braided five authors' lives in wartime London into a densely atmospheric tapestry of love, work, imagination and anguish under the shadow of the Blitz. Her second book repeats the method but expands the canvas . . . As in her first book, Feigel entwines politics and passion, the wide screen of history and the close-up of desire among the ruins . . . Always illuminating and richly textured.
      • premium: False
      • source: Sunday Times
      • content: [Lara Feigel] has had the clever idea of exploring the country's plight through the eyes of writers, artists and intellectuals, mostly British and American, as well as German exiles such as Marlene Dietrich and the novelist Thomas Mann . . . Well researched and beautifully written.
      • premium: False
      • source: Literary Review
      • content: The Bitter Taste of Victory is an ambitious book, ranging across a sea of events and characters and filled with enjoyable details.
      • premium: False
      • source: Daily Telegraph
      • content: The most striking aspect of this story, recounted by Lara Feigel in her fine book, lies in the contrast between the stillness and slow time of Mann's exile and the hectic pace of life for the Allies in occupied Germany . . . The Bitter Taste of Victory is more than a
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Life, Love, and Art in the Ruins of the Reich
popularity
42
publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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