Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.
The Origins of Totalitarianism begins with the rise of anti-Semitism in central and western Europe in the 1800s and continues with an examination of European colonial imperialism from 1884 to the outbreak of World War I. Arendt explores the institutions and operations of totalitarian movements, focusing on the two genuine forms of totalitarian government in our time—Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia—which she adroitly recognizes were two sides of the same coin, rather than opposing philosophies of Right and Left. From this vantage point, she discusses the evolution of classes into masses, the role of propaganda in dealing with the nontotalitarian world, the use of terror, and the nature of isolation and loneliness as preconditions for total domination.
But the dominant narrative, repeated in the media and from the angry mouths of politicians and activists, is the exact opposite of the reality. They paint a portrait of an America rife with racial and ethnic division, where minorities are mired in a poverty worse than slavery, and white people stand at the top of an unfairly stacked pyramid of privilege.
Jason D. Hill corrects the narrative in this powerfully eloquent book. Dr. Hill came to this country at the age of twenty from Jamaica and, rather than being faced with intractable racial bigotry, Hill found a land of bountiful opportunity—a place where he could get a college education, earn a doctorate in philosophy, and eventually become a tenured professor at a top university, an internationally recognized scholar, and the author of several respected books in his field.
Throughout his experiences, it wasn’t a racist establishment that sought to keep him down. Instead, Hill recounts, he faced constant naysaying from so-called liberals of all races. His academic colleagues did not celebrate the success of a black immigrant but chose to denigrate them because this particular black immigrant did not embrace their ideology of victimization. Part memoir, part exhortation to his fellow Americans, and, above all, a paean to the American Dream and the magnificent country that makes it possible, We Have Overcome is the most important and provocative book about race relations to be published in this century.