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What History Tells

George L. Mosse and the Culture of Modern Europe

Edited by Stanley G. Payne, David J. Sorkin, and John S. Tortorice

Publication Year: 2004

    What History Tells presents an impressive collection of critical papers from the September 2001 conference "An Historian’s Legacy: George L. Mosse and Recent Research on Fascism, Society, and Culture." This book examines his historiographical legacy first within the context of his own life and the internal development of his work, and secondly by tracing the many ways in which Mosse influenced the subsequent study of contemporary history, European cultural history and modern Jewish history. 
    The contributors include Walter Laqueur, David Sabean, Johann Sommerville, Emilio Gentile, Roger Griffin, Saul Friedländer, Jay Winter, Rudy Koshar, Robert Nye, Janna Bourke, Shulamit Volkov, and Steven E. Aschheim.

Published by: University of Wisconsin Press


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pp. v-vi

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pp. vii-xii

George Mosse was one of the most influential historians of his generation, as is evidenced by the contributions that comprise this volume, written by colleagues and students of George’s who are among the leaders in their profession. His interests spanned various countries and periods—seventeenth-century England and nineteenth-century Germany, the two world wars...

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pp. xiii-xiv

During his long and prolific career, George L. Mosse ranged farther over the fields of early modern and modern European history than almost any other historian of his time. Beginning as a specialist in the era of the English Reformation, he later turned to modern European cultural history and helped to open a whole series of new areas for research. From 1960...

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pp. 3-12

George Mosse died on 22 January 1999. The present collection of essays, as well as the remarkable (September 2001) conference upon which it is based, seeks to delineate and critically assess his work, person, and legacy.1 The essays gathered here succeed rather grandly in these aims, and little would be served by simply rehashing them. The task of these...

1. Mosse on Early Modern Europe

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George Mosse and The Holy Pretence

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pp. 15-24

In 1980, around the time Seymour Drescher, Allan Sharlin, and I were putting together George Mosse’s Festschrift,1 George sent me a copy of his 1957 book The Holy Pretence, subtitled A Study in Christianity andReason of State from William Perkins to John Winthrop. He wrote on the jacket, “I (but hardly anyone else) consider it one of my most important...

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The Modern Contexts of George Mosse’s Early Modern Scholarship

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pp. 25-39

George Mosse is famous as a historian of sexuality and of modern cultural and intellectual history. Most of his readers begin with his writings on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and many never discover that he was also a scholar of the early modern period. With me, things were the other way around. I knew him as an early modernist long ago and only much...

2. Mosse and Fascism

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A Provisional Dwelling: The Origin and Development ofthe Concept of Fascism in Mosse’s Historiography

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pp. 41-109

George L. Mosse developed his interpretation of fascism over the course of a long and productive career of research and reflection that spanned nearly four decades. It is significant that the last book he published, The Fascist Revolution, is a collection of the essays that marked, between 1961 and the late 1990s, the various stages in the development of his...

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Withstanding the Rush of Time: The Prescience of Mosse’s Anthropological View of Fascism

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pp. 110-133

In his elegantly concise introduction to The Fascist Revolution, George Mosse claims that the ten essays it brings together, published between 1961 and 1996, “present a coherent picture” 1 based on an approach to the nature of generic fascism that is “finding increasing favour with contemporary historians.” 2 As one of the historians mentioned in this context...

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Mosse’s Influence on the Historiography of the Holocaust

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pp. 134-148

Pension Biederstein, Munich, September 1961. The sound was persistent and unmistakable: the relentless typing of an invisible neighbor. I identified him at one of our breakfasts in the small dining room of the guest house and inquired about the compelling task that engendered so much noise. It was George, you will have guessed, working at what was to...

3. Comparative History, Nationalism, and Memory

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George Mosse’s Comparative Cultural History

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pp. 151-163

I want to take this opportunity to take stock of the state of cultural history today, and by doing so to assess aspects of George Mosse’s contribution to it. I will consider his work on “the myth of the war experience” and on the mobilization of “fallen soldiers,” in particular those of World War I, in the Mosse came to the Great War late; it is not a significant element in...

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George Mosse and “Destination Culture”

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pp. 164-182

Tourism is the biggest industry in the world, now employing more people globally than the oil industry, and arguably causing even greater environmental harm. Last year more than seven billion tourists took to the roads, the airways, and the sea routes. If there can be little doubt that tourism has had a massive impact on contemporary cultural perceptions,...

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Mosse, Masculinity, and the History of Sexuality

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pp. 183-201

In recent years, historical work on bodies, sexuality, and desire has become both more theoretically sophisticated and more respectful of how these subjects have figured in the history of popular culture. One thinks of the work of George Chauncey, Joanna Bourke, Susan Bordo, Marjorie Michel Foucault, Pierre Bourdieu, psychoanalysis, and various...

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The Body in Modern Warfare: Myth and Meaning, 1914–1945

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pp. 202-220

When George Mosse turned his mind to the history of modern warfare, he instinctively focused his gaze on the male body. Without dispute, the body is everywhere in war. Whether battered and bruised in some trench or flying majestically above the clouds, the corporeal self has been the central target of battle: humanity’s entire wrath focuses upon puny skeletons....

4. Mosse and Jewish History

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German Jewish History: Back to Bildung and Culture?

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pp. 223-238

It was at Berkeley, during the second half of the 1960s, that I first encountered the work of George Mosse. These were years of intense political upheaval on campus but also a time of exhilarating intellectual exchange. While we, graduate students of the history department, were part witnessing and part contributing to the general unrest, we also part...

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George Mosse and the Israeli Experience

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pp. 239-254

In 1977, toward the end of his semester in Jerusalem, George Mosse agreed to give an annual public lecture on nationalism. He relished the irony that this endowed series was funded by the South African Jewish friends of an ultra-right-wing Knesset member who had recently died. He mused maliciously about the kind of lesson he should teach them, and...

A Bibliography of George L. Mosse’s Work

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pp. 255-278


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pp. 279-292

E-ISBN-13: 9780299194130
Print-ISBN-13: 9780299194147

Publication Year: 2004