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226 THE CANADIAN HISTORICAL REVIEW of 'ideology,' questions, I believecorrectly, Stearns' equationof reformism and moderation with the end of ideology.Steams,on the other hand, findsthat Mitchell'sfocus on nationalleft-wingpoliticsdoes not advance usveryfar. He makes a goodcase for thatposition. I thinkthat students readingthetwoessays willnotneedtogotothisconcluding debate tosee thedifferences in method and approach. However,I urgeall readers to studycarefully RobertWohl'sintroduction whichdealsfranklybutcourteously with some serious flawsin thetwo essays. Wohl'scomments couldeasilyserveasa reviewof the book.That in itselftestifies to the authors' concern to openthe subject to criticalanalysis, ratherthantoheapgloryuponthemselves. SANFORD EL•rITT Universityof Rochester Revolutionin Central Europe, •9xS-x9x9 . F.L. CARSTEN. Berkeleyand Los Angeles, University of California Press, •97•. PP.36o,illus.$••.95. Professor Carsten's bookisofparticular interest because it provides a comparative treatmentof therevolutions in variouspartsof CentralEuropeand because it owes muchto a widestudy of unpublished sources in German-language archives bothin Germany andAustria.The story begins in October•918with thebreakupof theHabsburg Monarchy andthesetting up of a German-Austrian state, and thenmoves on to Germanyand the Kiel mutiny,followedby the setting upoftherepublic andthearmistice. Brieftreatment isgivenin thefirstchapter to the eventsleadingup to the establishment of the new Czechoslovak and Hungarianstates. There is later on in the booksomeanalysis of eventsin Czechoslovakia and morefully of those in Hungary,but naturallythe weight givento variouscountries in thebookisgoverned by the utilisationof German* language material.Indeed, howevervaluablethe resultsof archiveresearch may havebeen,at timesthe detail relatingto Germanyand Austriaseems unduly copious and leadsto a certainimbalancecomparedwith the other countries. One of the fundamentalthemesof the bookis the author'sview that, for instance in Germany,the revolution waschecked beforeit had time to work itselfout in a thorough-going reformnot only of the political,but alsoof thesocial order.Dr Carstencriticises the newrepublican regimein Germany for comingto termswith theHigh Command. He argues that theco-operation of theHighCommand wasnotnecessary for theorderlyrepatriation anddemobilisation ofthetroops. He isobviously sympathetic tomuchofwhatthevarious councils - ofworkers, soldiers, andpeasants - weretrying todo.In thisreviewer's opinion,he exaggerates their importance and judgesthemtoofavourably. As theauthor points out,thecouncils (Riite)inGermany andAustria didnotdevelop intoSoviets ontheRussian model;buteventhePetrograd andMoscow Soviets, howeverpowerfulfor a time, did not lastand weresubsumed in the Bolshevik regime. The Republican Germangovernment soon partedcompany with the councils, partly- it istrue- because it moved totheRight,butmainlybecause REVIEWS 227 a government hasto governand can hardlybe accountable to a bodywhich had beenirregularlyelectedand which was too'ephemeraland too much a creatureof the whim of the momentto be able to developinto an effective parliamentary assembly. The activists of thecouncil movement couldnotclaim a popularfollowing. That became miserably clearwhenKurt Eisner,theIndependentSocialist from Berlinwhohad carriedout a putschin Munich and overthrown thecenturies-old Wittelsbach dynasty, received onlye-5percentof thevoteat an election heldduringhispremiership. Eisnerwasmurderedsoon afterwards bya right-wing extremist, an uglyexampleof politicalmurderand quite unnecessary, as the premierwas on his way to tenderhis resignation. However,thisreviewer wouldnotagreewith theauthorthat an importantSocialist leader was thus removed. Dr Carsten believes that 'the workers' and soldiers' councils ... could have contributed much to democratization' and mourns theirearlydemise. But these councils werenot democratic in the sense of truly reflecting thewill of thepeople - for instance, theBavarian,or theGermanas a whole.In thebook,theessential dividinglinebetween democracy andconstitutionalism (includingtheRechtsstaat) ontheonehand,andofpoliticalactivism and'people's justice' ontheother,becomes blurred. TherecanbelittledoubtthatDr Carsten isrightin theimportance heattaches to the revolutions of I918-I 9. He hasaddedyet anotherto his valuableand thorough studies of CentralEuropean history whichforma serious contribution to scholarship. Eventhose who do not sharehisoutlookwill gainmuchfrom reading.a book which should finditsplace in theuniversity classroom. FRANK EYCK University o! Calgary ...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1710-1093
Print ISSN
0008-3755
Pages
pp. 226-227
Launched on MUSE
2016-04-06
Open Access
No
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