From War to Peace: Europe in the 1940s

History 103B.004

Spring 2014
Day & Time: 
F 10-12P
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  • This reading seminar will explore the mid-1940s as a watershed moment in European history. Within only a few years the descent into war and genocide was followed by the return to a stable and, in comparison to prewar Europe, fundamentally different social and political order. The starting point was in 1942-43: German mass killing policies in occupied Europe reached their zenith, Nazi Germany’s defeat became a certainty, and the Allies began to impose their vision for a postwar order. The transition ended in 1947-48 when the postwar settlement turned into a new conflict among the victorious powers, splitting the continent into Communist East and Capitalist West. We will discuss some of the major works of historical synthesis on twentieth-century Europe as well as more specific historical writings on European reconstruction that have appeared over the last decade. Weekly position papers and an in depth literature review (or a prospectus for a possible honors thesis) constitute the principal writing assignments.       

Course Books

Bloodlands by Snyder, Timothy Basic. ISBN: 978-0465031474 Required
Hitler's Empire by Mazower, Mark Penguin. ISBN: 978-0143116103 Required
Germany 1945: From War to Peace by Bessel, Richard Harper Perennial. ISBN: 978-0060540371 Required
The Lost Children by Zahra, Tara Harvard. ISBN: 978-0674048249 Required
Iron Curtain by Applebaum, Anne Anchor. ISBN: 978-1400095933 Required
Postwar by Tony Judt Pinguin. ISBN: 978-0143037750 Required
Dark Continent by Mark Mazower Vintage. ISBN: 978-0679757047 Required
Where Have All the Soldiers Gone by sheehan, James mariner. ISBN: 978-0547086330 Required