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Adenauer's Foreign Office

West German Diplomacy in the Shadow of the Third Reich

On March 15, 1951, some eighteen months after the creation of the Fed- eral Republic of Germany, a small ceremony took place to mark the official establishment of its Foreign Office.

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Alexander Yakovlev

The Man Whose Ideas Delivered Russia from Communism

A significant political figure in twentieth-century Russia, Alexander Yakovlev was the intellectual force behind the processes of perestroika (reconstruction) and glasnost (openness) that liberated the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from Communist rule between 1989 and 1991. Yet, until now, not a single full-scale biography has been devoted to him. In his study of the unsung hero, Richard Pipes seeks to rectify this lacuna and give Yakovlev his historical due.

Yakovlev’s life provides a unique instance of a leading figure in the Soviet government who evolved from a dedicated Communist and Stalinist into an equally ardent foe of everything the Leninist-Stalinist regime stood for. He quit government service in 1991 and lived until 2005, becoming toward the end of his life a classical western liberal who shared none of the traditional Russian values.

Pipes’s illuminating study consists of two parts: a biography of Yakovlev and Pipes’s translation of two important articles by Yakovlev. It will appeal to specialists and students of Soviet and post-Soviet studies, government officials involved with foreign policy, and general readers interested in the history of Russia and the Soviet Union.

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Antosha and Levitasha

The Shared Lives and Art of Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan

Antosha and Levitasha is the first book in English devoted to the complex relationship between Anton Chekhov and Isaac Levitan, one of Russia’s greatest landscape painters. Outside of Russia, a general lack of familiarity with Levitan’s life and art has undermined an appreciation of the cultural significance of his friendship with Chekhov. Serge Gregory’s highly readable study attempts to fill that gap for Western readers by examining a friendship that may have vacillated between periods of affection and animosity, but always reflected an unwavering shared aesthetic.

In Russia, where entire rooms of galleries in Moscow and St. Petersburg are devoted to Levitan’s paintings, the lives of the famous writer and the equally famous artist have long been tied together. To those familiar with the work of both men, it is evident that Levitan’s “landscapes of mood” have much in common with the way that Chekhov’s characters perceive nature as a reflection of their emotional state. Gregory focuses on three overarching themes: the artists’ similar approach to depicting landscape; their romantic and social rivalries within their circle of friends, which included many of Moscow’s leading cultural figures; and the influence of Levitan’s personal life on Chekhov’s stories and plays. He emphasizes the facts of Levitan’s life and his place in late nineteenth-century Russian art, particularly with respect to his dual loyalties to the competing Itinerant and World of Art movements.

Accessible and engaging, Antosha and Levitasha will appeal to scholars and general readers interested in art history, late nineteenth-century Russian culture, and biographies.

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Architecture of Oblivion

Ruins and Historical Conciousness in Modern Russia

Despite attempts to promote the aesthetics of ruins in Russia—from Catherine the Great’s construction of fake ruins in imperial parks to Josef Brodsky’s elegiac meditations—ruins have never achieved the status they enjoy in Western Europe. While the Soviet Union was notorious for leveling churches, post-Soviet Russia has only intensified the practice of massive destruction and reconstruction. Architecture of Oblivion examines the role of ruins in the development of Russia’s historical consciousness from the 18th century to the present. Investigating the meaning and functions ruins have acquired in Russian culture, Schönle looks at ideological reasons for the current disregard for the value of ruins and historical buildings, in particular by political authorities, and reveals how ruins have often become a site of resistance to official ideology and an invitation to map out alternative visions of history and of statehood. An interdisciplinary study of Russia’s response to ruins has never been attempted, although the topic of ruins has garnered considerable interest in Western Europe and in the U.S. This original work from a leading authority on the subject will appeal to historians of Russian culture and thought, literature and art scholars, and general readers interested in ruins.

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Area Studies in the Global Age

Community, Place, Identity

Edith W. Clowes and Shelly Jarrett Bromberg

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An Art Lover's Guide to Florence

By Judith Testa

No city but Florence contains such an intense concentration of art produced in such a short span of time. The sheer number and proximity of works of painting, sculpture, and architecture in Florence can be so overwhelming that Florentine hospitals treat hundreds of visitors each year for symptoms brought on by trying to see them all, an illness famously identified with the French author Stendhal.

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Assassins and Conspirators

Anarchism, Socialism, and Political Culture in Imperial Germany

Over the course of the German Empire the Social Democrats went from being a vilified and persecuted minority to becoming the largest party in the Reichstag, enjoying broad-based support. But this was not always the case. In the 1870s, government mouthpieces branded Social Democracy the “party of assassins and conspirators” and sought to excite popular fury against it. Over time, Social Democrats managed to refashion their public image in large part by contrasting themselves to anarchists, who came to represent a politics that went far beyond the boundaries of acceptable behavior. Social Democrats emphasized their overall commitment to peaceful change through parliamentary participation and a willingness to engage their political rivals. They condemned anarchist behavior—terrorism and other political violence specifically—and distanced themselves from the alleged anarchist personal characteristics of rashness, emotionalism, cowardice, and secrecy. Repeated public debate about the appropriate place of Socialism in German society, and its relationship to anarchist terrorism, helped Socialists and others, such as liberals, political Catholics, and national minorities, cement the principles of legal equality and a vigorous public sphere in German political culture.
 
Using a diverse array of primary sources from newspapers and political pamphlets to Reichstag speeches to police reports on anarchist and socialist activity, this book sets the history of Social Democracy within the context of public political debate about democracy, the rule of law, and the appropriate use of state power. Gabriel also places the history of German anarchism in the larger contexts of German history and the history of European socialism, where its importance has often been understated because of the movement’s small size and failure to create a long-term mass movement.
 

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Beautiful Twentysomethings

Beautiful Twentysomethings is a vivid firsthand account of the life of Marek Hlasko, a young writer whose iconoclastic way of life became an inspiration in 1950s Poland. Detailing relationships with such giants of Polish culture as the filmmaker Roman Polanski and the novelist Jerzy Andrzejewski, this memoir recounts his adventures and misadventures abroad in the postwar era. When he was recalled to Poland in 1958, Hlasko refused to return and was stripped of his Polish citizenship. He spent the rest of his life working in exile. A fascinating portrait from the short-lived rebel generation, Ross Ufberg deftly renders Hlasko's wry and passionate voice with grit and a morbid humor

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The Blue Kind

In Neom the laws of physics are lax and everyone still gets high. The city squares do it so they can keep working nonstop. The hipsters do it so they can accept things as they are and not long for how they want them to be. And, for a thousand years, Alison has done it to cope with the burdens of immortality. If you can’t die, she says, at least you can be as stoned as the living dead.

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Claiming Lincoln

Progressivism, Equality, and the Battle for Lincoln’s Legacy in Presidential Rhetoric

Abraham Lincoln is clearly one of the most frequently cited figures in American political rhetoric, especially with regard to issues of equality. But given the ubiquity of Lincoln’s legacy, many references to him, even on the presidential level, are often of questionable accuracy. In Claiming Lincoln, Jividen posits that in much 20th-century presidential rhetoric, especially from progressive leaders, Lincoln’s understanding of equality is slowly divorced from its grounding in the natural rights thinking of the American Founding and reinterpreted in light of progressive history. Claiming Lincoln examines the manner in which rhetoricians have appealed to Lincoln’s legacy only to distort that legacy in the process. Focusing on Theodore Roosevelt, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lyndon Johnson and touching on Barack Obama, Jividen argues that presidential rhetorical use and abuse of Lincoln has profound consequences not only for how we understand Lincoln but also for how we understand American democracy. Jividen’s original take on Lincoln and the Progressives will be of interest to scholars of American politics and all those invested in Lincoln’s legacy.

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