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Christmas in Germany Cover

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Christmas in Germany

A Cultural History

Joe Perry

For poets, priests, and politicians--and especially ordinary Germans--in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, the image of the loving nuclear family gathered around the Christmas tree symbolized the unity of the nation at large. German Christmas was supposedly organic, a product of the winter solstice rituals of pagan Teutonic tribes, the celebration of the birth of Jesus, and the age-old customs that defined German character. Yet, as Joe Perry argues, Germans also used these annual celebrations to contest the deepest values that held the German community together: faith, family, and love, certainly, but also civic responsibility, material prosperity, and national belonging.

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A Church Divided

German Protestants Confront the Nazi Past

Matthew D. Hockenos

This book closely examines the turmoil in the German Protestant churches in the immediate postwar years as they attempted to come to terms with the recent past. Reeling from the impact of war, the churches addressed the consequences of cooperation with the regime and the treatment of Jews. In Germany, the Protestant Church consisted of 28 autonomous regional churches. During the Nazi years, these churches formed into various alliances. One group, the German Christian Church, openly aligned itself with the Nazis. The rest were cautiously opposed to the regime or tried to remain noncommittal. The internal debates, however, involved every group and centered on issues of belief that were important to all. Important theologians such as Karl Barth were instrumental in pressing these issues forward. While not an exhaustive study of Protestantism during the Nazi years, A Church Divided breaks new ground in the discussion of responsibility, guilt, and the Nazi past.

Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive Cover

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Churchill Wanted Dead or Alive

Celia Sandys

“ . . . notable for its depiction of young Churchill, warts and all, as a very human character . . . .”—New York Times

“A bestseller in the UK, this portrait of Winston Churchill, written by his granddaughter, unapologetically presents the future prime minister as an action hero in the Boer War. It’s rousing reading.  Sandy’s affection for her grandfather is obvious, but she shows enough of his grandiosity to maintain a reader’s trust. . . . Sandys is fully aware of the extent to which her grandfather had a finger to the political winds during his exploits: he sought the limelight as aggressively as he chased adventure. Because of Sandys’s brisk narrative, as well as their knowledge of the man Churchill later became, readers will not hold young Winston’s ambition against him.”—Publishers Weekly

“During his nine-month stint in South Africa, Churchill, though officially classified as a noncombatant reporter, managed to send stirring dispatches to the Morning Post, engage in several bloody skirmishes with the enemy, be captured and incarcerated as a prisoner of war, and make a suitably sensationalized, yet nonetheless daring, escape from prison. Written in a lively narrative style, this affectionate biographical portrait of a very young, very spirited, and very enterprising Winston Churchill succeeds in foreshadowing the magnitude of the renown he eventually achieved. A rip-roaring good read chockfull of action, suspense, and history.”—Booklist

Citizen, Invert, Queer Cover

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Citizen, Invert, Queer

Lesbianism and War in Early Twentieth-Century Britain

Deborah Cohler

In late nineteenth-century England, “mannish” women were considered socially deviant but not homosexual. A half-century later, such masculinity equaled lesbianism in the public imagination. How did this shift occur? Citizen, Invert, Queer illustrates that the equation of female masculinity with female homosexuality is a relatively recent phenomenon, a result of changes in national and racial as well as sexual discourses in early twentieth-century public culture.
 
Incorporating cultural histories of prewar women’s suffrage debates, British sexology, women’s work on the home front during World War I, and discussions of interwar literary representations of female homosexuality, Deborah Cohler maps the emergence of lesbian representations in relation to the decline of empire and the rise of eugenics in England. Cohler integrates discussions of the histories of male and female same-sex erotics in her readings of New Woman, representations of male and female suffragists, wartime trials of pacifist novelists and seditious artists, and the interwar infamy of novels such as Radclyffe Hall’s The Well of Loneliness and Virginia Woolf’s Orlando.
 
By examining the shifting intersections of nationalism and sexuality before, during, and after the Great War, this book illuminates profound transformations in our ideas about female homosexuality.

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City and the Crown

Vienna and the Imperial Court, 1600-1740

by John Spielman

Spielman presents the role of the Habsburg court in the rise of Vienna the early modem period. His study clearly shows the extraordinarily complex web of interrelationships and interdependencies between the court, its servants, and the city as each strove to protect its privileges.

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Civilizing the Enemy

German Reconstruction and the Invention of the West

Patrick Thaddeus Jackson

For the past century, politicians have claimed that "Western Civilization" epitomizes democratic values and international stability. But who is a member of "Western Civilization"? Germany, for example, was a sworn enemy of the United States and much of Western Europe in the first part of the twentieth century, but emerged as a staunch Western ally after World War II. By examining German reconstruction under the Marshall Plan, author Patrick Jackson shows how the rhetorical invention of a West that included Germany was critical to the emergence of the postwar world order. Civilizing the Enemy convincingly describes how concepts are strategically shaped and given weight in modern international relations, by expertly dissecting the history of "the West" and demonstrating its puzzling persistence in the face of contradictory realities. "By revisiting the early Cold War by means of some carefully conducted intellectual history, Patrick Jackson expertly dissects the post-1945 meanings of "the West" for Europe's emergent political imaginary. West German reconstruction, the foundation of NATO, and the idealizing of 'Western civilization' all appear in fascinating new light." --Geoff Eley, University of Michigan "Western civilization is not given but politically made. In this theoretically sophisticated and politically nuanced book, Patrick Jackson argues that Germany's reintegration into a Western community of nations was greatly facilitated by civilizational discourse. It established a compelling political logic that guided the victorious Allies in their occupation policy. This book is very topical as it engages critically very different, and less successful, contemporary theoretical constructions and political deployments of civilizational discourse." --Peter J. Katzenstein, Cornell University "What sets Patrick Jackson's book apart is his attention, on the one hand, to philosophical issues behind the kinds of theoretical claims he makes and, on the other hand, to the methodological implications that follow from those claims. Few scholars are willing and able to do both, and even fewer are as successful as he is in carrying it off. Patrick Jackson is a systematic thinker in a field where theory is all the rage but systematic thinking is in short supply." --Nicholas Onuf, Florida International University Patrick Thaddeus Jackson is Assistant Professor of International Relations in American University's School of International Service.

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Clio and the Crown

The Politics of History in Medieval and Early Modern Spain

Richard L. Kagan

Monarchs throughout the ages have commissioned official histories that cast their reigns in a favorable light for future generations. These accounts, sanctioned and supported by the ruling government, often gloss over the more controversial aspects of a king's or queen’s time on the throne. Instead, they present highly selective and positive readings of a monarch’s contribution to national identity and global affairs. In Clio and the Crown, Richard L. Kagan examines the official histories of Spanish monarchs from medieval times to the middle of the 18th century. He expertly guides readers through the different kinds of official histories commissioned: those whose primary focus was the monarch; those that centered on the Spanish kingdom as a whole; and those that celebrated Spain’s conquest of the New World. In doing so, Kagan also documents the life and work of individual court chroniclers, examines changes in the practice of official history, and highlights the political machinations that influenced the redaction of such histories. Just as world leaders today rely on fast-talking press officers to explain their sometimes questionable actions to the public, so too did the kings and queens of medieval and early modern Spain. Monarchs often went to great lengths to exert complete control over the official history of their reign, physically intimidating historians, destroying and seizing manuscripts and books, rewriting past histories, and restricting history writing to authorized persons. Still, the larger practice of history writing—as conducted by nonroyalist historians, various scholars and writers, and even church historians—provided a corrective to official histories. Kagan concludes that despite its blemishes, the writing of official histories contributed, however imperfectly, to the practice of historiography itself.

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Closing the Books

Governor Edward Carstensen on Danish Guinea 1842-50

Sitting on the terrace of the royal plantation Frederiksgave, his favourite retreat, Governor Edward Carstensen came to see the inevitable: Denmark had to give up her ìpossessionsî in Africa. As fate would have it, he came to be the instrument by which two centuries of Danish involvement on the Gold Coast was terminated, thereby making way for the emergence of the colonial system that developed there. After the abolition of the slave trade, Denmark had struggled to find ways and means to legitimate her continued stay at the Coast. At an early stage the Danes initiated a number of attempts to establish experimental plantations to cultivate export crops such as cotton, coffee and sugar. But a transition from slave trade to ìlegitimateî products required stability and peace, and a need for control, which the rather limited Danish presence was not able to maintain. Closing the Books comprises a compilation of the official reports that the last Danish Governor sent home during his term of office at the Gold Coast. The reports reflect his personal views regarding the economic and political situations there, as well as his ideas on the ìcivilization of Africaî.

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Coire Sois, The Cauldron of Knowledge

A Companion to Early Irish Saga

Tomas O Cathasaigh

Coire Sois, The Cauldron of Knowledge: A Companion to Early Irish Saga offers thirty-one previously published essays by Tomás Ó Cathasaigh, which together constitute a magisterial survey of early Irish narrative literature in the vernacular. Ó Cathasaigh has been called “the father of early Irish literary criticism,” with writings among the most influential in the field. He pioneered the analysis of the classic early Irish tales as literary texts, a breakthrough at a time when they were valued mainly as repositories of grammatical forms, historical data, and mythological debris. All four of the Mythological, Ulster, King, and Finn Cycles are represented here in readings of richness, complexity, and sophistication, supported by absolute philological rigor and yet easy for the non-specialist to follow. The book covers key terms, important characters, recurring themes, rhetorical strategies, and the narrative logic of this literature. It also surveys the work of the many others whose explorations were launched by Ó Cathasaigh's first encounters with the literature. As the most authoritative single volume on the essential texts and themes of early Irish saga, this collection will be an indispensable resource for established scholars, and an ideal introduction for newcomers to one of the richest and most under-studied literatures of medieval Europe.

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