Turning Points in Modern Times: Essays on German and European History
Harvard University Press, 1995 - History - 338 pages
Turning Points in Modern Times focuses on events after 1917: the rise of Nazism on the Right and authoritarianism on the Left. Bracher provides an incisive framework for understanding the great ideological confrontation of this century--democracy versus totalitarianism in the forms of fascism, Nazism, and communism. His analysis of the outcomes underscores the significance and power of democratic values and governments.
The doyen of German political history, Karl Dietrich Bracher extends the argument against dictatorship that runs through his life's work, offers a blueprint for dealing with the recent past of the communist East German State (DDR), looks at the true facts of the Stasi collaboration, and challenges misperceptions of Hitler, Stalin, and others. He demonstrates the kinship between fascism and communism, considers Weimar and liberalism, assesses the legacy of Nazism, and outlines the ethos of democracy. In all this Bracher exposes the twentieth-century threats to the democratic state so that they can never again subvert representative government.
A founder of the new history of Germany, which considers the larger context for Hitler and illuminates events through the theories of social science and the values of liberalism and democracy, Bracher writes in the tradition of Acton, Burckhardt, Croce, and Dahrendorf. This is a vital history lesson for our turbulent times, when once more democracy is on the march after a twilight century.
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