The Vanquished

The Vanquished

Why the First World War Failed to End

Book - 2016
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"A pathbreaking account of the continuing ethnic and state violence after the end of WWI--conflicts that more than anything else set the stage for WWII"--Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2016.
Edition: 1st American ed.
ISBN: 9780374282455
Characteristics: 446 p. : ill. ; 24 cm.


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Jul 13, 2018

I really enjoyed reading this book. It really bought into focus this horrible period, in Central and Eastern Europe, following the end of the Great War. The book is very well-written, meticulous, and, I ended up wanting to learn more...

Sep 30, 2017

Very enlightening. Added so much to my already-extensive reading on the area and the period.

Jul 19, 2017

After the guns fell silent across the western front on the 11th of November, 1918, the Western Allies entered a peaceful reverie that lasted, with brief disturbances, until September of 1939. The result is a clear division between the world wars. But, as Robert Gerwath relates in The Vanquished, the experience of those decades was very different for those in the empires - German, Austrian, Russian, Ottoman - whose defeat in the War resulted in their dissolution. In the East, the War continued for years after peace was formally declared, as the lines drawn on a map at Versailles were rewritten in blood across the landscape, and the conventional rationales of the First World War were gradually replaced by a new, genocidal logic.

Gerwath briskly and readably relates the bloody chaos and anarchy, and even bloodier order, that attended the revolutions and counter-revolutions, civil wars and territorial wars, of the early twenties, The remainder of the inter-war period is only briefly summarized. There are some oddities of organization - the rise of Mussolini is described several chapters before the saga of D'Annunzio's seizure of Fiume, for example - but these do not prevent The Vanquished from being a compelling and informative account of a much-neglected but vitally important chapter in the history of the twentieth century.

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