Nazi Germany may have only lasted for 12 years, but it has left a legacy that still echoes with us today. This work discusses the emergence and appeal of the Nazi party, the relationship between consent and terror in securing the regime, the role played by Hitler himself, and the dark stains of war, persecution, and genocide left by Nazi Germany.
Anthony Pereira introduces the country and idea of Brazil, from its depiction in the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, to Brazil's colonial past, and the country's transformation from a poor agricultural outpost to an integral part of the 21st century global order. Throughout he considers the economic, political, and social challenges the country faces.
Fascism is notoriously hard to define. In the new edition of this Very Short Introduction, Kevin Passmore unravels the paradoxes of one of the most important phenomena in the modern world, to make sense of its ideology and place in the modern world.
German writers, be it Goethe, Nietzsche, Marx, Brecht or Mann, have had a profound influence on the modern world. This Very Short Introduction illuminates the particular character and power of German literature, and examines its impact on the wider cultural world.
Since the 1960s, many people around the world have challenged the idea that western perspectives are the only ones that count. This book examines the history of that challenge, outlining the ideas behind it, and showing the ways in which the histories and the cultures of the world can be rethought in new, different and productive directions.
Religion plays a central role in human experience. Billions of people around the world practice a faith and act in accordance with it. Religion shapes how they enter the world and how they leave it - how they eat, dress, marry, and raise their children. It affects law, economy, and government. It sanctifies injustice and combats it. Beginning with the first signs of religion among ancient humans and concluding with a look at modern citizens and contemporary trends,leading scholar Thomas Tweed examines this powerful and enduring force in human society. Religion: A Very Short Introduction offers a concise non-partisan overview of religion's long history and its complicated role in the world today.
In 1883, Francis Galton, a cousin of Charles Darwin, coined the word "eugenics" to express his dream of perfecting the human race by applying the laws of genetic heredity. Adapting Darwin's theory of evolution to human society, eugenics soon became a powerful, international movement, committed to using the principles of heredity and statistics to encourage healthy and discourage unhealthy reproduction. Early in the twentieth century and across the world, doctors, social reformers, and politicians turned to the new science of eugenics as a means to improve and strengthen their populations. Eugenics advocates claimed their methods would result in healthier, fitter babies and would dramatically limit human suffering. The reality was a different story. In the name of scientific progress and of human improvement, eugenicists targeted the weak and the sick, triggering coercive legislation on issues as disparate as race, gender, immigration, euthanasia, abortion, sterilization, intelligence, mental illness, and disease control. Nationalists eagerly embraced eugenics as a means to legitimize their countries' superiority and racialized assumptions, and the Nazis notoriously used eugenics to shape their "final solution." In this lucid volume, Philippa Levine tackles the intricate and controversial history of eugenics, masterfully synthesizing the enormous range of policies and experiments carried out in the name of eugenics around the world throughout the twentieth century. She questions the widespread belief that eugenics disappeared after World War II and evaluates the impact of eugenics on current reproductive and genetic sciences. Charting the development of such controversial practices as artificial insemination, sperm donation, and population control, this book offers a powerful, extraordinarily timely reflection on the frequent interplay between genetics and ethics. Eugenics may no longer be a household word, but we feel its effects even today.
Antisemitism, as hatred of Jews and Judaism, has been a central problem of Western civilization for millennia, and its history continues to invite debate. This Very Short Introduction untangles the history of the phenomenon, from ancient religious conflict to 'new' antisemitism in the 21st century. Steven Beller reveals how Antisemitism grew as a political and ideological movement in the 19th century, how it reached its dark apogee in the worst genocide in modern history - the Holocaust - and how Antisemitism still persists around the world today. In the new edition of this thought-provoking Very Short Introduction, Beller brings his examination of this complex and still controversial issue up to date with a discussion of Antisemitism in light of the 2008 financial crash, the Arab Spring, and the on-going crisis between Israel and Palestine. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
This Very Short Introduction offers a powerfully-written explanation of the Spanish Civil war's complex origins and course, and explores its impact on a personal and international scale. It examines Spanish participation in European resistance movements during World War II and also the ongoing civil war waged politically, economically, judicially and culturally inside Spain by Francoism after its military victory in 1939. During this time, history writing itself became a battleground, and the book charts the Franco regime's attempt to appropriate the past. Graham has provided an ethical reflection on the war in the context of Europe's tumultuous twentieth century, highlighting why it has inspired some of the greatest writers of our time, and how the effects of this regime continue to resonate today in Britain, continental Europe, and beyond.
Since ancient times, poets, historians, and philosophers have contemplated warlords' exploits in battle and praised their ability to lead armies toward victory as the "art of the general." Today, this quality is designated military strategy. Military strategy plays a vital role in everyconflict, because, as the United States' involvement in the Vietnam conflict showed, when the overarching strategy is weak it is possible to win every battle but still lose a war.Taking inspiration from the greatest military theoreticians of history, such as Sun Tzu, Niccolo Machiavelli, and Carl von Clausewitz, this Very Short Introduction highlights the dynamic relationship between the principal components of strategy: purpose, method, and means. Drawing on paradigmaticexamples, from Hannibal's war against Rome to Napoleon's victory at Austerlitz, from the Allies' campaign to overwhelm Hitler's fortress to the terror attacks of September 11, Antulio J. Echevarria II vividly illustrates the factors contributing to the success or failure of military strategy.Echevarria describes the major types of military strategy and their advantages and disadvantages: annihilation and dislocation; attrition and exhaustion; deterrence and coercion; terror and terrorism; targeted killing; and cyber power. He also explores the emerging nano- and bio-genetic technologiesand explains how they are affecting today's military strategy. Clear and engaging, this book shows that military strategy is essential for understanding major events of the past and becomes even more critical today, in a world increasingly threatened by weapons of mass destruction, terroristattacks, and new dimensions of conflict, such as cyberwar and space.