The Long Shadow: The Legacies Of The Great War In The Twentieth Century

Hardcover | May 13, 2014

byDAVID REYNOLDS

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One of the most violent conflicts in the history of civilization, World War I has been strangely forgotten in American culture. It has become a ghostly war fought in a haze of memory, often seen merely as a distant preamble to World War II. In The Long Shadow critically acclaimed historian David Reynolds seeks to broaden our vision by assessing the impact of the Great War across the twentieth century. He shows how events in that turbulent century—particularly World War II, the Cold War, and the collapse of Communism—shaped and reshaped attitudes to 1914–18.

By exploring big themes such as democracy and empire, nationalism and capitalism, as well as art and poetry, The Long Shadow is stunningly broad in its historical perspective. Reynolds throws light on the vast expanse of the last century and explains why 1914–18 is a conflict that America is still struggling to comprehend. Forging connections between people, places, and ideas, The Long Shadow ventures across the traditional subcultures of historical scholarship to offer a rich and layered examination not only of politics, diplomacy, and security but also of economics, art, and literature. The result is a magisterial reinterpretation of the place of the Great War in modern history.

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From the Publisher

One of the most violent conflicts in the history of civilization, World War I has been strangely forgotten in American culture. It has become a ghostly war fought in a haze of memory, often seen merely as a distant preamble to World War II. In The Long Shadow critically acclaimed historian David Reynolds seeks to broaden our vision by assessing the impact of the Great War across the twentieth cent...

David Reynolds is a professor of international history at Cambridge University. He is the author of books including The Long Shadow and In Command of History: Churchill Fighting and Writing the Second World War, which won the Wolfson Prize.

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:560 pages, 9.53 × 6.6 × 1.63 inPublished:May 13, 2014Publisher:WW NortonLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0393088634

ISBN - 13:9780393088632

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Magisterial in scope. And mostly, but not always, in execution. David Reynolds takes us through a century of political, cultural, and artistic memories of The Great War. Which interpretations are constantly changing, morphing as regimes change, new wars are fought, and new archives are opened. And these ideas shape their thinkers. Hence, <i>The Long Shadow</i>. Reynolds' knows what he's doing, but doesn't always seamlessly bring everything together. In a way, he's a classic academic: excellent in his strengths (which must be literature) but sometimes forced to bring in outside interests (politics, I think) to tell a bigger story. He ends on a haunting question: how, in another hundred years, will we remember the war? Will we at all? I'm a child of the eighties who can reach directly to the Second World War and see The Great War just over the horizon. So the Silence and the Cenotaph are still real for me. But what of those who come after? The monuments will remain, and it rests with us to teach the future. On this centennial of the outbreak of war, I will bring my infant daughter to the Act Of Remembrance. So that she will learn what went before, and what we hope ever again to avoid.
Date published: 2014-05-12