Europe, 19001914: a world adrift, a pulsating era of creativity and contradictions. The major topics of the day: terrorism, globalization, immigration, consumerism, the collapse of moral values, and the rivalry of superpowers. The twentieth century was not born in the trenches of the Somme or Passchendaelebut rather in the fifteen vertiginous years preceding World War I.
In this short span of time, a new world order was emerging in ultimately tragic contradiction to the old. These were the years in which the political and personal repercussions of the Industrial Revolution were felt worldwide: Cities grew like never before as people fled the countryside and their traditional identities; science created new possibilities as well as nightmares; education changed the outlook of millions of people; mass-produced items transformed daily life; industrial laborers demanded a share of political power; and women sought to change their place in societyas well as the very fabric of sexual relations.
From the tremendous hope for a new century embodied in the 1900 World's Fair in Paris to the shattering assassination of a Habsburg archduke in Sarajevo in 1914, historian Philipp Blom chronicles this extraordinary epoch year by year. Prime Ministers and peasants, anarchists and actresses, scientists and psychopaths intermingle on the stage of a new century in this portrait of an opulent, unstable age on the brink of disaster.
Beautifully written and replete with deftly told anecdotes, The Vertigo Years brings the wonders, horrors, and fears of the early twentieth century vividly to life.
|Edition description:||First Trade Paper Edition|
|Product dimensions:||5.80(w) x 8.90(h) x 1.30(d)|
|Age Range:||13 - 18 Years|
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations viii
1 1900: The Dynamo and the Virgin 5
2 1901: The Changing of the Guard 23
3 1902: Oedipus Rex 44
4 1903: A Strange Luminescence 71
5 1904: His Majesty and Mister Morel 92
6 1905: In All Fury 122
7 1906: Dreadnought and Anxiety 155
8 1907: Dreams and Visions 189
9 1908: Ladies with Rocks 219
10 1909: The Cult of the Fast Machine 249
11 1910: Human Nature Changed 277
12 1911: People's Palaces 308
13 1912: Questions of Breeding 334
14 1913: Wagner's Crime 360
15 1914: Murder Most Foul 388
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
At the beginning of his new book, Philipp Blom asks us, his readers, to pretend that we know nothing of what may come after 1914 for Europe. In this, he is trying to get us to take a new, unvarnished look at the beginning of the twentieth century and how those fifteen years set up the world we know today. Taking a year by year look at events all across Europe, Blom makes a strong case that the wonders and breakthroughs of this time period directly influenced everything that followed. From terrorism to immigration to globalization and gender roles, many of the issues we debate today have strong roots in Europe at the beginning of the twentieth century.Though his writing suffers slightly from mild digressions here and there, Blom presents his arguments in a very strong manner. Thoroughly enjoyable and readable, The Vertigo Years is an excellent title for anyone looking to learn how we got to where we are today.
"The Vertigo Years" includes a great deal of information - almost like an encyclopedia of the 1900-1914 period - and perhaps too much information. It reads like a compendium with no real point to it. The author says that it is intended to explain the unintended path to World War I, but he wraps up without really explaining how all of his information led to the Great War. He inserts "sex" at the oddest places without clearly explaining the connection, almost as if he has to mention sex periodically to sell the book to a current reading audience. This book covers so very many aspects of society and culture, and in such detail, that it left me wondering how this author could possibly be an authority on so many different areas. As a result, the book lost credibility when I decided that a lot of the author's "analysis" was not necessarily credible and valid.
This is a fast paced, deeply researched, and very well written book that illuminates things long forgotten about the history of Europe pre-WW One. Each year is a chapter on a different subject. Each chapter is engrossing and thought provoking. It isn't just for history junkies either, every one will learn something neat in this book. For the record, I am a history major who eats this stuff up. WWI is a specialty of mine and I think this book will help readers understand how and why that war began. The book is well written, the research is phenomenal, and the action is fast paced. I highly recommend this book. You will not be disappointed.