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GERMANY

A NATION IN ITS TIME: BEFORE, DURING, AND AFTER NATIONALISM, 1500-2000

Fruitful reading for students of modern European history and the rise of nationalism.

A noted historian outlines the development of the German nation in novel ways.

Smith (History/Vanderbilt Univ.; German Nationalism and Religious Conflict: Culture, Ideology, Politics, 1870-1914, 2016, etc.) begins his account in 1500, when there was no Germany as such but instead a collection of cities and mostly small principalities: “No charts drew the German lands to scale and no drawings showed its borders. And no one had described Germany as a space with a recognizable shape.” Modern cartography would change this, marking German itineraries and linking German-speaking cities into a “Germania” that “was an act of discovery, not chauvinism.” However, chauvinism would soon follow: Martin Luther railed that the humanism of mapmakers and scholars had “Judaizing tendencies” that yielded too much to “the enemies of Christ.” In time, nationalism would replace the former German devotion to hometowns, and it found expression in the depopulating Thirty Years’ War, which took decades to recover from. On that note, Smith writes, although millions of Germans lost their lives during the Hitler years, recovery was swift—and although a majority of Germans believed, just after the war ended, that national socialism was a meritorious system whose leaders had merely taken a few missteps, by the time the “economic miracle” was at work in full force, most conversely saw that Hitler had been ruinous. German nationalism today is a very different thing from its manifestations in the two centuries prior. Smith writes of a crowd of soccer fans cheering for their team against Portugal during the 2006 World Cup and finally feeling comfortable enough about being German to wave their national flag. Even though Germans are now resolute internationalists, Smith concludes, there are troubling rumblings of a reborn nationalism in opposition to the German government’s comparatively open-door policy toward immigrants and refugees, so that “public discourse now seems increasingly rife with prejudice toward outsiders.”

Fruitful reading for students of modern European history and the rise of nationalism.

Pub Date: March 17, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-87140-466-4

Page Count: 672

Publisher: Liveright/Norton

Review Posted Online: Dec. 7, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 2020

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KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON

THE OSAGE MURDERS AND THE BIRTH OF THE FBI

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Awards & Accolades

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  • Kirkus Reviews'
    Best Books Of 2017


  • New York Times Bestseller


  • IndieBound Bestseller


  • National Book Award Finalist

Greed, depravity, and serial murder in 1920s Oklahoma.

During that time, enrolled members of the Osage Indian nation were among the wealthiest people per capita in the world. The rich oil fields beneath their reservation brought millions of dollars into the tribe annually, distributed to tribal members holding "headrights" that could not be bought or sold but only inherited. This vast wealth attracted the attention of unscrupulous whites who found ways to divert it to themselves by marrying Osage women or by having Osage declared legally incompetent so the whites could fleece them through the administration of their estates. For some, however, these deceptive tactics were not enough, and a plague of violent death—by shooting, poison, orchestrated automobile accident, and bombing—began to decimate the Osage in what they came to call the "Reign of Terror." Corrupt and incompetent law enforcement and judicial systems ensured that the perpetrators were never found or punished until the young J. Edgar Hoover saw cracking these cases as a means of burnishing the reputation of the newly professionalized FBI. Bestselling New Yorker staff writer Grann (The Devil and Sherlock Holmes: Tales of Murder, Madness, and Obsession, 2010, etc.) follows Special Agent Tom White and his assistants as they track the killers of one extended Osage family through a closed local culture of greed, bigotry, and lies in pursuit of protection for the survivors and justice for the dead. But he doesn't stop there; relying almost entirely on primary and unpublished sources, the author goes on to expose a web of conspiracy and corruption that extended far wider than even the FBI ever suspected. This page-turner surges forward with the pacing of a true-crime thriller, elevated by Grann's crisp and evocative prose and enhanced by dozens of period photographs.

Dogged original research and superb narrative skills come together in this gripping account of pitiless evil.

Pub Date: April 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-385-53424-6

Page Count: 352

Publisher: Doubleday

Review Posted Online: Feb. 1, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2017

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NIGHT

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the...

Elie Wiesel spent his early years in a small Transylvanian town as one of four children. 

He was the only one of the family to survive what Francois Maurois, in his introduction, calls the "human holocaust" of the persecution of the Jews, which began with the restrictions, the singularization of the yellow star, the enclosure within the ghetto, and went on to the mass deportations to the ovens of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. There are unforgettable and horrifying scenes here in this spare and sombre memoir of this experience of the hanging of a child, of his first farewell with his father who leaves him an inheritance of a knife and a spoon, and of his last goodbye at Buchenwald his father's corpse is already cold let alone the long months of survival under unconscionable conditions. 

The author's youthfulness helps to assure the inevitable comparison with the Anne Frank diary although over and above the sphere of suffering shared, and in this case extended to the death march itself, there is no spiritual or emotional legacy here to offset any reader reluctance.

Pub Date: Jan. 16, 2006

ISBN: 0374500010

Page Count: 120

Publisher: Hill & Wang

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2006

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