The Polish�Lithuanian State, 1386�1795 is the first account in English devoted specifically to this important era. It takes a regional rather than a national approach, considering the internal development of the Ukrainian, Jewish, Lithuanian, and Prussian German nations that coexisted with the Poles in this multinational state. Presenting Jewish history also clarifies urban history, because Jews lived in the unincorporated "private cities" and suburbs, which historians have overlooked in favor of incorporated "royal cities." In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the private cities and suburbs often thrived while the inner cities decayed. The book also traces the institutional development of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland�Lithuania, one of the few European states to escape bloody religious conflict during the Reformation and Counter Reformation.
Both seasoned historians and general readers will appreciate the many excellent brief biographies that advance the narrative and illuminate the subject matter of this comprehensive and absorbing volume.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from James A. Michener's Hawaii.
Praise for The Bridge at Andau
“Precise, vivid . . . immeasurably stirring.”—The Atlantic Monthly
“Dramatic, chilling, enraging.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Highly recommended reading.”—Library Journal
In 1920 the new Soviet state was a mess, following a brutal civil war, and the best way of ensuring its survival appeared to be to export the revolution to Germany, itself economically ruined by defeat in World War I and racked by internal political dissension.
Between Russia and Germany lay Poland, a nation that had only just recovered its independence after more than a century of foreign oppression. But it was economically and militarily weak and its misguided offensive to liberate the Ukraine in the spring of 1920 laid it open to attack. Egged on by Trotsky, Lenin launched a massive westward advance under the flamboyant Marshal Tukhachevsky.
All that Great Britain and France had fought for over four years now seemed at risk. By the middle of August the Russians were only a few kilometres from Warsaw, and Berlin was less than a week's march away. Then occurred the 'Miracle of the Vistula': the Polish army led by Jozef Pilsudski regrouped and achieved one of the most decisive victories in military history.
As a result, the Versailles peace settlement survived, and Lenin was forced to settle for Communism in one country. The battle for Warsaw bought Europe nearly two decades of peace, and communism remained a mainly Russian phenomenon, subsuming many of the autocratic and Byzantine characteristics of Russia's tsarist tradition.
In White Eagle, Red Star, Norman Davies gives a full account of the War, with its dramatic climax in August 1920 when the Red Army - sure of victory and pledged to carry the Revolution across Europe to 'water our horses on the Rhine' - was crushed by a devastating Polish attack. Since known as the 'miracle on the Vistula', it remains one of the most decisive battles of the Western world.
Drawing on both Polish and Russian sources, Norman Davies illustrates the narrative with documentary material which hitherto has not been readily available and shows how the War was far more an 'episode' in East European affairs, but largely determined the course of European history for the next twenty years or more.
Chronologically, Wandycz traces the histories of the lands under Prussian, Austrian, and Russian rule, pointing out their divergent evolution as well as the threads that bound them together. The result is a balanced, comprehensive picture of the social, political, economic, and cultural developments of all nationalities inhabiting the land of the old commonwealth, rather than a limited history of one state (Poland) and one people (the Poles).
"While Kempe does not sugarcoat Germany's current problems-its dyspeptic tolerance of immigrants, its pervasive bureaucracy and pedantry, the viciousness of the neo-Nazis-he argues that young Germans are right to no longer feel guilt for the Holocaust, as long as they learn its lessons." -Newsday
"This is a fascinating and important book for anyone interested in the New and Old Germany. Fred Kempe, a distinguished foreign correspondent who has reported from many countries, turns in Father/Land to a different land-the mysteries and dark secrets of his German family that lay shrouded since the Third Reich. As painful as it is, this is a search that Kempe could no longer refuse if he was to bring some sense to his American character and German roots. As he interweaves his family's history with that of the German nation, his personal quest becomes a window not only into the German past but also into Germany's future." -Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Prize and coauthor of The Commanding Heights
"Father/Land takes us on a spellbinding journey into Germany's past and present that begins with a musty olive trunk of old papers Fred Kempe inherited from his father. Inside that trunk lies the enduring mystery of the German people. Kempe's lively writing makes us see the paradox of modern Germany in small things-such as the trashcans at the Frankfurt airport or the personal quirks of Kempe's teammates on an amateur basketball team in Berlin. When Kempe finally discovers the horrific story that lies buried in his own family's history, the reader has the shock of experiencing the nightmare of Nazism from the inside." -David Ignatius, columnist, The Washington Post, and author of A Firing Offense
"From a skilled American reporter's search for his German ancestry emerges a rich and rewarding portrait of a nation moving toward a promising future even as it remains tied to an inescapable past." -Ronald Steel, author of Walter Lippmann and the American Century
"No foreign correspondent knows Germany as well as Frederick Kempe. He understands us sometimes better than we understand ourselves. His book is a refreshing, human look at where Germany is going, and it shows deep understanding for where it has been." -Volker RÃ1⁄4he, former defense minister of Germany
Father/Land is a brilliant, unorthodox work of observation, insight, and commentary, a provocative book that will become required reading for anyone seeking to understand modern Germany. And it is something more. For in researching the past, Kempe discovered that the ghosts of Germany's past were not limited to others, that the contradictory threads of good and evil wove through his own family as well. After years of denying his own Germanness, he would have to confront it at last.
During a pilgrimage to Germany with his father, Fred Kempe promised him he would write about modern Germany. Twelve years later, as a correspondent for The Wall Street Journal Europe, Kempe began a long journey of exploration in an attempt to answer questions that haunted him about his father's land: "How could such an apparently good people with such a rich cultural history have done such evil things? What causes evil, and what breeds good? After only half a century of reeducation and reconstruction, could the strength of German democracy and liberalism be as great as it seemed?"
In this book, Fred Kempe delves into Germany's demographic change, its modern military, its youth, and America's role in the remaking of Germany after the war. He also looks at German pre-war history and how that history plays into shaping the future of the newly intact Germany. While searching modern Germany for the answers to his philosophical questions, Kempe finds himself in a parallel search for the roots of his own German heritage. Through seeking out relatives and searching documents that might enlighten him about the unspoken mysteries of his family's past, he discovers more than he bargained for, and at the same time learns a great deal about himself. The journey that began as the fulfillment of a promise to his father, led him as he had hoped, to a greater understanding his father's Heimat.
In the last chapter of his book, Kempe calls modern Germany "America's Stepchild." He theorizes that Germans, because of their past atrocities, feel a great responsibility to their European neighbors as well as to the world. In their process of atonement, they have become a kinder and gentler people, while their strength remains. Their role as a world leader beckons them to heights to which they no longer aspire. Reaching great heights makes the world seem conquerable. This is the mistake they must avoid. Reaching out makes the world more united. This is the direction they know they must go.
A century has transformed this bloody scene into romantic tragedy: star-crossed lovers who preferred death together than to be parted by a cold, unfeeling Viennese Court. But Mayerling is also the story of family secrets: incestuous relationships and mental instability; blackmail, venereal disease, and political treason; and a disillusioned, morphine-addicted Crown Prince and a naïve schoolgirl caught up in a dangerous and deadly waltz inside a decaying empire. What happened in that locked room remains one of history’s most evocative mysteries: What led Rudolf and mistress to this desperate act? Was it really a suicide pact? Or did something far more disturbing take place at that remote hunting lodge and result in murder?
Drawing interviews with members of the Habsburg family and archival sources in Vienna, Greg King and Penny Wilson reconstruct this historical mystery, laying out evidence and information long ignored that conclusively refutes the romantic myth and the conspiracy stories.
Contributors: Volker R. Berghahn, Hartmut Berghoff, Hilary Earl, Jan Eckel, Willem Frijhoff, Ian Kershaw, Simone Lässig, Karl Heinrich Pohl, John C. G. Röhl, Angelika Schaser, Joachim Radkau, Cornelia Rauh-Kühne, Mark Roseman, Christoph Strupp and Michael Wildt.
Including 15 original chapters from an interdisciplinary team of contributors, this collection begins by posing the question: "What is East Central Europe?" with three specialists offering different interpretations and presenting new conclusions. The book is then grouped into five parts which examine political practice, religion, urban experience, and art and literature. The contributors question and explain the reasons for similarities and differences in governance and strategies for handling allies, enemies or subjects in particular ways. They point out themes and structures from town planning to religious orders that did not function according to political boundaries, and for which the inclusion of East Central European territories was systemic.
The volume offers a new interpretation of medieval East Central Europe, beyond its traditional limits in space and time and beyond the established conceptual schemes. It will be essential reading for students and scholars of medieval East Central Europe.