Fire and blood the european civil war 1914 1945

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fire and blood the european civil war 1914 1945

Fire and Blood: The European Civil War, 1914-1945 by Enzo Traverso

Europe’s second Thirty Years’ War—an epoch of blood and ashes

Fire and Blood looks at the European crisis of the two world wars as a single historical sequence: the age of the European Civil War (1914–1945). Its overture was played out in the trenches of the Great War; its coda on a ruined continent. It opened with conventional declarations of war and finished with “unconditional surrender.” Proclamations of national unity led to eventual devastation, with entire countries torn to pieces. During these three decades of deepening conflicts, a classical interstate conflict morphed into a global civil war, abandoning rules of engagement and fought by irreducible enemies rather than legitimate adversaries, each seeking the annihilation of its opponents. It was a time of both unchained passions and industrial, rationalized massacre. Utilizing multiple sources, Enzo Traverso depicts the dialectic of this era of wars, revolutions and genocides. Rejecting commonplace notions of “totalitarian evil,” he rediscovers the feelings and reinterprets the ideas of an age of intellectual and political commitment when Europe shaped world history with its own collapse.
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'Fire and Blood' - Fantasy Book Review

Fire and Blood looks at the European crisis of the two world wars as a single historical sequence: the age of the European Civil War (–). Its overture .
Enzo Traverso

Fire and Blood: The European Civil War, 1914-1945

Enzo Traverso. David Fernbach Brooklyn, N. Review by Nitzan Lebovic. The enemy parties are not two regular armies but two factions within one and the same state, only one of which possesses a legal status, so that the distinction between civilian and combatant becomes highly problematic. For Traverso, the characteristic lawlessness of civil war found its ultimate form in World War I, when a community of nations united by a sense of belonging to a larger culture tore itself to pieces.

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Enzo Traverso has pulled off the rare reconstruction of a past epoch that pulsates with electric immediacy. Fire and Blood fashions events happening seventy-five-to-one-hundred years ago to feel as lively and pertinent as political debates taking place at present. Reactionaries now as then traffic in a political imaginary of noxious aliens in their midst — non-Aryans, non-Christians, immigrants — and rally around a mythologized distinctiveness of their national cultures and threatened traditions. New systems of violence are unleashed, and talk of the deportation and even annihilation of populations marked by religio-ethnic difference is being heard again. Are we facing the latest staging of a persistently revived historical drama?

“Enzo Traverso's investigation is based on a brilliant—although controversial— idea. It is an important book that deserves to prompt vast and interesting debates.
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Nitzan Lebovic reviews Fire and Blood

Fire & Blood Chapter One: Aegon's Conquest (Part 1)

Fire and Blood looks at the European crisis of the two world wars as a single historical sequence: the age of the European Civil War — Its overture was played out in the trenches of the Great War; its coda on a ruined continent. During these three decades of deepening conflicts, a classical interstate conflict morphed into a global civil war, abandoning rules of engagement and fought by irreducible enemies rather than legitimate adversaries, each seeking the annihilation of its opponents. It was a time of both unchained passions and industrial, rationalized massacre. Utilizing multiple sources, Enzo Traverso depicts the dialectic of this era of wars, revolutions and genocides. It is an important book that deserves to prompt vast and interesting debates.

So observes the narrator of Francois Truffaut's film, Jules et Jim , as Jim, a former soldier, revisits the sites of World War I battles that left nothing but ruins. The war, a global conflict centered in Europe, resulted in 16 million deaths. It was also a total war that did not spare civilians; nearly half of those who died were noncombatants. Industrial and technological innovations -- armored airplanes and tanks, submarines, machine guns, poison gas -- made warfare more efficient, and more lethal, than ever before. Just two decades after the war that, according to Woodrow Wilson, was to "end all wars", another even more devastating conflict broke out in Europe and became a global conflagration. Some historians have conceptualized the 20th century European wars not as two separate conflicts but as one war with a brief interregnum. As the title of Enzo Traverso's latest book makes evident, the Italian historian shares that view.

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