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Your search for 'European Studies' in subject found 58 book(s).
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1. cover
Title: Antonia Canova and the politics of patronage in revolutionary and Napoleonic Europe
Author: Johns, Christopher M. S
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Art | Art History | European  Studies | European History
Publisher's Description: The Venetian sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1822) was Europe's most celebrated artist from the end of the ancien régime to the early years of the Restoration, an era when the traditional relationship between patrons and artists changed drastically. Christopher M. S. Johns's refreshingly original study explores a neglected facet of Canova's career: the effects of patrons, patronage, and politics on his choice of subjects and manner of working. While other artists produced art in the service of the state, Canova resisted the blandishments of the political powers that commissioned his works.Johns uses letters, diaries, and biographies to establish a political personality for Canova as an individual and an artist of international reputation. Though he had patrons as diverse as the pope, Napoleon, the Austrian Hapsburgs, the Prince Regent of Great Britain, and the Republic of Venice, Canova remained steadily employed and did so without controversy. A conservative and a Catholic, he devised a strategy that enabled him to work for patrons who were avowed enemies while remaining true to the cultural and artistic heritage of his Italian homeland. Using myth and funerary images and avoiding portraiture, he disguised the meanings behind his works and thus avoided their being identified with any political purpose.Johns greatly enhances our understanding of Canova's place in European art and political history, and in showing the influence of censorship, display, visual narrative, and propaganda, he highlights issues as contentious today as they were in Canova's time.   [brief]
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2. cover
Title: Apocalypse in Rome: Cola di Rienzo and the politics of the New Age
Author: Musto, Ronald G
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | European  Studies | Medieval History | Medieval Studies | Autobiographies and Biographies | Classical Politics | Autobiographies and Biographies
Publisher's Description: On May 20, 1347, Cola di Rienzo overthrew without violence the turbulent rule of Rome's barons and the absentee popes. A young visionary and the best political speaker of his time, Cola promised Rome a return to its former greatness. Ronald G. Musto's vivid biography of this charismatic leader - whose exploits have enlivened the work of poets, composers, and dramatists, as well as historians - peels away centuries of interpretation to reveal the realities of fourteenth-century Italy and to offer a comprehensive account of Cola's rise and fall. A man of modest origins, Cola gained a reputation as a talented professional with an unparalleled knowledge of Rome's classical remains. After earning the respect and friendship of Petrarch and the sponsorship of Pope Clement VI, Cola won the affections and loyalties of all classes of Romans. His buono stato established the reputation of Rome as the heralded New Jerusalem of the Apocalypse and quickly made the city a potent diplomatic and religious center that challenged the authority - and power - of both pope and emperor. At the height of Cola's rule, a conspiracy of pope and barons forced him to flee the city and live for years as a fugitive until he was betrayed and taken to Avignon to stand trial as a heretic. Musto relates the dramatic story of Cola's subsequent exoneration and return to central Italy as an agent of the new pope. But only weeks after he reestablished his government, he was slain by the Romans atop the Capitoline hill. In his exploration, Musto examines every known document pertaining to Cola's life, including papal, private, and diplomatic correspondence rarely used by earlier historians. With his intimate knowledge of historical Rome - its streets and ruins, its churches and palaces, from the busy Tiber riverfront to the lost splendor of the Capitoline - he brings a cinematic flair to this fascinating historical narrative.   [brief]
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3. cover
Title: At the dawn of modernity: biology, culture, and material life in Europe after the year 1000
Author: Levine, David 1946-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: Sociology | Social Theory | European History | European  Studies
Publisher's Description: Looking at a neglected period in the social history of modernization, David Levine investigates the centuries that followed the year 1000, when a new kind of society emerged in Europe. New commercial routines, new forms of agriculture, new methods of information technology, and increased population densities all played a role in the prolonged transition away from antiquity and toward modernity. At the Dawn of Modernity highlights both "top-down" and "bottom-up" changes that characterized the social experience of early modernization. In the former category are the Gregorian Reformation, the imposition of feudalism, and the development of centralizing state formations. Of equal importance to Levine's portrait of the emerging social order are the bottom-up demographic relations that structured everyday life, because the making of the modern world, in his view, also began in the decisions made by countless men and women regarding their families and circumstances. Levine ends his story with the cataclysm unleashed by the Black Death in 1348, which brought three centuries of growth to a grim end.   [brief]
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4. cover
Title: The beast in the boudoir: petkeeping in nineteenth-century Paris online access is available to everyone
Author: Kete, Kathleen
Published: University of California Press,  1994
Subjects: History | European History | French Studies | European  Studies
Publisher's Description: Kathleen Kete's wise and witty examination of petkeeping in nineteenth-century Paris provides a unique window through which to view the lives of ordinary French people. She demonstrates how that cliché of modern life, the family dog, reveals the tensions that modernity created for the Parisian bourgeoisie.Kete's study draws on a range of literary and archival sources, from dog-care books to veterinarians's records to Dumas's musings on his cat. The fad for aquariums, attitudes toward vivisection, the dread of rabies, the development of dog breeding - all are shown to reflect the ways middle-class people thought about their lives. Petkeeping, says Kete, was a way to imagine a better, more manageable version of the world - it relieved the pressures of contemporary life and improvised solutions to the intractable mesh that was post-Enlightenment France. The faithful, affectionate family dog became a counterpoint to the isolation of individualism and lack of community in urban life. By century's end, however, animals no longer represented the human condition with such potency, and even the irascible, autonomous cat had been rehabilitated into a creature of fidelity and affection.Full of fascinating details, this innovative book will contribute to the way we understand culture and the creation of class.   [brief]
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5. cover
Title: Crafting the culture and history of French chocolate
Author: Terrio, Susan J. (Susan Jane) 1950-
Published: University of California Press,  2000
Subjects: Anthropology | European  Studies | French Studies | Food and Cooking | Sociology
Publisher's Description: This absorbing narrative follows the craft community of French chocolatiers - members of a tiny group experiencing intensive international competition - as they struggle to ensure the survival of their businesses. Susan J. Terrio moves easily among ethnography, history, theory, and vignette, telling a story that challenges conventional views of craft work, associational forms, and training models in late capitalism. She enters the world of Parisian craft leaders and local artisanal families there and in southwest France to relate how they work and how they confront the representatives and structures of power, from taste makers, CEOs, and advertising executives to the technocrats of Paris and Brussels. Looking at craft culture and community from a cross-disciplinary perspective, Terrio finds that the chocolatiers affirm their collective identity and their place in the present by commemorating selectively their role in history. In addition to joining a distinguished tradition of American anthropological writing on the role of food, her study of the social production of taste in the invention of vintage, grand cru chocolates lends specificity and weight to theories of consumption by Pierre Bourdieu and others. The book will appeal to anthropologists, cultural studies scholars, and anyone curious about life in contemporary France.   [brief]
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6. cover
Title: Crescendo of the virtuoso: spectacle, skill, and self-promotion in Paris during the Age of Revolution online access is available to everyone
Author: Metzner, Paul 1952-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: History | European History | French Studies | European  Studies
Publisher's Description: During the Age of Revolution, Paris came alive with wildly popular virtuoso performances. Whether the performers were musicians or chefs, chess players or detectives, these virtuosos transformed their technical skills into dramatic spectacles, presenting the marvelous and the outré for spellbound audiences. Who these characters were, how they attained their fame, and why Paris became the focal point of their activities is the subject of Paul Metzner's absorbing study. Covering the years 1775 to 1850, Metzner describes the careers of a handful of virtuosos: chess masters who played several games at once; a chef who sculpted hundreds of four-foot-tall architectural fantasies in sugar; the first police detective, whose memoirs inspired the invention of the detective story; a violinist who played whole pieces on a single string. He examines these virtuosos as a group in the context of the society that was then the capital of Western civilization.   [brief]
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7. cover
Title: Decades of crisis: Central and Eastern Europe before World War II
Author: Berend, T. Iván (Tibor Iván) 1930-
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: History | European History | European  Studies | Russian and Eastern European Studies | Economics and Business
Publisher's Description: Only by understanding Central and Eastern Europe's turbulent history during the first half of the twentieth century can we hope to make sense of the conflicts and crises that have followed World War II and, after that, the collapse of Soviet-controlled state socialism. Ivan Berend looks closely at the fateful decades preceding World War II and at twelve countries whose absence from the roster of major players was enough in itself, he says, to precipitate much of the turmoil.As waves of modernization swept over Europe, the less developed countries on the periphery tried with little or no success to imitate Western capitalism and liberalism. Instead they remained, as Berend shows, rural, agrarian societies notable for the tenacious survival of feudal and aristocratic institutions. In that context of frustration and disappointment, rebellion was inevitable. Berend leads the reader skillfully through the maze of social, cultural, economic, and political changes in Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Yugoslavia, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Austria, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and the Soviet Union, showing how every path ended in dictatorship and despotism by the start of World War II.   [brief]
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8. cover
Title: The emancipation of writing: German civil society in the making, 1790s-1820s
Author: McNeely, Ian F 1971-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: History | European  Studies | German Studies | European History | Sociology | Political Theory | Anthropology
Publisher's Description: The Emancipation of Writing is the first study of writing in its connection to bureaucracy, citizenship, and the state in Germany. Stitching together micro- and macro-level analysis, it reconstructs the vibrant, textually saturated civic culture of the German southwest in the aftermath of the French Revolution and Napoleon's invasions. Ian F. McNeely reveals that Germany's notoriously oppressive bureaucracy, when viewed through the writing practices that were its lifeblood, could also function as a site of citizenship. Citizens, acting under the mediation of powerful local scribes, practiced their freedoms in written engagements with the state. Their communications laid the basis for civil society, showing how social networks commonly associated with the free market, the free press, and the voluntary association could also take root in powerful state institutions.   [brief]
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9. cover
Title: Emblems of eloquence: opera and women's voices in seventeenth-century Venice
Author: Heller, Wendy Beth
Published: University of California Press,  2004
Subjects: Music | European  Studies | Opera | Classical Music | Women's Studies | Classical Literature and Language | Renaissance History
Publisher's Description: Opera developed during a time when the position of women - their rights and freedoms, their virtues and vices, and even the most basic substance of their sexuality - was constantly debated. Many of these controversies manifested themselves in the representation of the historical and mythological women whose voices were heard on the Venetian operatic stage. Drawing upon a complex web of early modern sources and ancient texts, this engaging study is the first comprehensive treatment of women, gender, and sexuality in seventeenth-century opera. Wendy Heller explores the operatic manifestations of female chastity, power, transvestism, androgyny, and desire, showing how the emerging genre was shaped by and infused with the Republic's taste for the erotic and its ambivalent attitudes toward women and sexuality. Heller begins by examining contemporary Venetian writings about gender and sexuality that influenced the development of female vocality in opera. The Venetian reception and transformation of ancient texts - by Ovid, Virgil, Tacitus, and Diodorus Siculus - form the background for her penetrating analyses of the musical and dramatic representation of five extraordinary women as presented in operas by Claudio Monteverdi, Francesco Cavalli, and their successors in Venice: Dido, queen of Carthage (Cavalli); Octavia, wife of Nero (Monteverdi); the nymph Callisto (Cavalli); Queen Semiramis of Assyria (Pietro Andrea Ziani); and Messalina, wife of Claudius (Carlo Pallavicino).   [brief]
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10. cover
Title: An empire on display: English, Indian, and Australian exhibitions from the Crystal Palace to the Great War
Author: Hoffenberg, Peter H 1960-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: History | European History | Victorian History | Asian History | South Asia | Pacific Rim Studies | European  Studies
Publisher's Description: The grand exhibitions of the Victorian and Edwardian eras are the lens through which Peter Hoffenberg examines the economic, cultural, and social forces that helped define Britain and the British Empire. He focuses on major exhibitions in England, Australia, and India between the Great Exhibition of 1851 and the Festival of Empire sixty years later, taking special interest in the interactive nature of the exhibition experience, the long-term consequences for the participants and host societies, and the ways in which such popular gatherings revealed dissent as well as celebration. Hoffenberg shows how exhibitions shaped culture and society within and across borders in the transnational working of the British Empire. The exhibitions were central to establishing and developing a participatory imperial world, and each polity in that world provided distinctive information, visitors, and exhibits. Among the displays were commercial goods, working machines, and ethnographic scenes. Exhibits were intended to promote external commonwealth and internal nationalism. The imperial overlay did not erase significant differences but explained and used them in economic and cultural terms. The exhibitions in cities such as London, Sydney, and Calcutta were living and active public inventories of the Empire and its national political communities. The process of building and consuming such inventories persists today in the cultural bureaucracies, museums, and festivals of modern nation-states, the appeal to tradition and social order, and the actions of transnational bodies.   [brief]
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11. cover
Title: The family on trial in revolutionary France
Author: Desan, Suzanne 1957-
Published: University of California Press,  2004
Subjects: History | European  Studies | French Studies | Women's Studies
Publisher's Description: In a groundbreaking book that challenges many assumptions about gender and politics in the French Revolution, Suzanne Desan offers an insightful analysis of the ways the Revolution radically redefined the family and its internal dynamics. She shows how revolutionary politics and laws brought about a social revolution within households and created space for thousands of French women and men to reimagine their most intimate relationships. Families negotiated new social practices, including divorce, the reduction of paternal authority, egalitarian inheritance for sons and daughters alike, and the granting of civil rights to illegitimate children. Contrary to arguments that claim the Revolution bound women within a domestic sphere, The Family on Trial maintains that the new civil laws and gender politics offered many women unexpected opportunities to gain power, property, or independence. The family became a political arena, a practical terrain for creating the Republic in day-to-day life. From 1789, citizens across France - sons and daughters, unhappily married spouses and illegitimate children, pamphleteers and moralists, deputies and judges - all disputed how the family should be reformed to remake the new France. They debated how revolutionary ideals and institutions should transform the emotional bonds, gender dynamics, legal customs, and economic arrangements that structured the family. They asked how to bring the principles of liberty, equality, and regeneration into the home. And as French citizens confronted each other in the home, in court, and in print, they gradually negotiated new domestic practices that balanced Old Regime customs with revolutionary innovations in law and culture. In a narrative that combines national-level analysis with a case study of family contestation in Normandy, Desan explores these struggles to bring politics into households and to envision and put into practice a new set of familial relationships.   [brief]
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12. cover
Title: Fascist modernities: Italy, 1922-1945
Author: Ben-Ghiat, Ruth
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: European  Studies | History | Intellectual History | European History
Publisher's Description: Ruth Ben-Ghiat's innovative cultural history of Mussolini's dictatorship is a provocative discussion of the meanings of modernity in interwar Italy. Eloquent, pathbreaking, and deft in its use of a broad range of materials, this work argues that fascism appealed to many Italian intellectuals as a new model of modernity that would resolve the contemporary European crisis as well as long-standing problems of the national past. Ben-Ghiat shows that - at a time of fears over the erosion of national and social identities - Mussolini presented fascism as a movement that would allow economic development without harm to social boundaries and national traditions. She demonstrates that although the regime largely failed in its attempts to remake Italians as paragons of a distinctly fascist model of mass society, twenty years of fascism did alter the landscape of Italian cultural life. Among younger intellectuals in particular, the dictatorship left a legacy of practices and attitudes that often continued under different political rubrics after 1945.   [brief]
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13. cover
Title: Fascist spectacle: the aesthetics of power in Mussolini's Italy
Author: Falasca-Zamponi, Simonetta 1957-
Published: University of California Press,  1997
Subjects: History | European History | Popular Culture | European  Studies | Politics
Publisher's Description: This richly textured cultural history of Italian fascism traces the narrative path that accompanied the making of the regime and the construction of Mussolini's power. Simonetta Falasca-Zamponi reads fascist myths, rituals, images, and speeches as texts that tell the story of fascism. Linking Mussolini's elaboration of a new ruling style to the shaping of the regime's identity, she finds that in searching for symbolic means and forms that would represent its political novelty, fascism in fact brought itself into being, creating its own power and history.Falasca-Zamponi argues that an aesthetically founded notion of politics guided fascist power's historical unfolding and determined the fascist regime's violent understanding of social relations, its desensitized and dehumanized claims to creation, its privileging of form over ethical norms, and ultimately its truly totalitarian nature.   [brief]
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14. cover
Title: Feminism and politics: a comparative perspective online access is available to everyone
Author: Gelb, Joyce 1940-
Published: University of California Press,  1989
Subjects: Politics | Gender Studies | European  Studies | Public Policy
Publisher's Description: This incisive work provides a comparative political analysis of the women's movement in England, the United States, and Sweden from the 1960s to the present. Based on extensive interviews in each of the three countries, Feminism and Politics focuses not only on the internal dynamics of the movements themselves, but also on the relationship of feminist politics to the political process as a whole and to the economic and ideological context.Gelb finds that differences in the feminist movements in each country relate to systemic and cultural differences. In Britain the closed nature of the political system has greatly narrowed opportunities for feminist political activities. By contrast, the feminist movement in the United States has enjoyed relative autonomy and success, primarily because it has been unconstrained by the necessity of working through existing groups such as unions and political parties. In Sweden Gelb finds an anomalous situation in which the state has implemented many feminist policies but has allowed little ideological or political space for an autonomous movement.In its scope and analysis, Feminism and Politics offers a valuable new perspective on women's political activities.   [brief]
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15. cover
Title: Frontiers and ghettos: state violence in Serbia and Israel online access is available to everyone
Author: Ron, James
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Sociology | European  Studies | Cultural Anthropology | Ethnic Studies | Christianity | Judaism | Islam | Christianity
Publisher's Description: James Ron uses controversial comparisons between Serbia and Israel to present a novel theory of state violence. Formerly a research consultant to Human Rights Watch and the International Red Cross, Ron witnessed remarkably different patterns of state coercion. Frontiers and Ghettos presents an institutional approach to state violence, drawing on Ron's field research in the Middle East, Balkans, Chechnya, Turkey, and Africa, as well as dozens of rare interviews with military veterans, officials, and political activists on all sides. Studying violence from the ground up, the book develops an exciting new framework for analyzing today's nationalist wars.   [brief]
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16. cover
Title: Gadamer's repercussions: reconsidering philosophical hermeneutics online access is available to everyone
Author: Krajewski, Bruce 1959-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Philosophy | Social and Political Thought | European  Studies
Publisher's Description: Certainly one of the key German philosophers of the twentieth century, Hans-Georg Gadamer also influenced the study of literature, art, music, sacred and legal texts, and medicine. Indeed, while much attention has been focused on Gadamer's writings about ancient Greek and modern German philosophy, the relevance of his work for other disciplines is only now beginning to be properly considered and understood. In an effort to address this slant, this volume brings together many prominent scholars to assess, re-evaluate, and question Hans-Georg Gadamer's works, as well as his place in intellectual history. The book includes a recent essay by Gadamer on "the task of hermeneutics," as well as essays by distinguished contributors including Jürgen Habermas, Richard Rorty, Gerald Bruns, Georgia Warnke, and many others. The contributors situate Gadamer's views in surprising ways and show that his writings speak to a range of contemporary debates - from constitutional questions to issues of modern art. A controversial final section attempts to uncover and clarify Gadamer's history in relation to National Socialism. More an investigation and questioning than a celebration of this venerable and profoundly influential philosopher, this collection will become a catalyst for any future rethinking of philosophical hermeneutics, as well as a significant starting place for rereading and reviewing Hans-Georg Gadamer.   [brief]
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17. cover
Title: The Gothic enterprise: a guide to understanding the Medieval cathedral
Author: Scott, Robert A 1935-
Published: University of California Press,  2003
Subjects: Medieval Studies | Architecture | European  Studies | Christianity | European History | Architectural History | Sociology | Sociology
Publisher's Description: The great Gothic cathedrals of Europe are among the most astonishing achievements of Western culture. Evoking feelings of awe and humility, they make us want to understand what inspired the people who had the audacity to build them. This engrossing book surveys an era that has fired the historical imagination for centuries. In it Robert A. Scott explores why medieval people built Gothic cathedrals, how they built them, what conception of the divine lay behind their creation, and how religious and secular leaders used cathedrals for social and political purposes. As a traveler's companion or a rich source of knowledge for the armchair enthusiast, The Gothic Enterprise helps us understand how ordinary people managed such tremendous feats of physical and creative energy at a time when technology was rudimentary, famine and disease were rampant, the climate was often harsh, and communal life was unstable and incessantly violent. While most books about Gothic cathedrals focus on a particular building or on the cathedrals of a specific region, The Gothic Enterprise considers the idea of the cathedral as a humanly created space. Scott discusses why an impoverished people would commit so many social and personal resources to building something so physically stupendous and what this says about their ideas of the sacred, especially the vital role they ascribed to the divine as a protector against the dangers of everyday life. Scott's narrative offers a wealth of fascinating details concerning daily life during medieval times. The author describes the difficulties master-builders faced in scheduling construction that wouldn't be completed during their own lifetimes, how they managed without adequate numeric systems or paper on which to make detailed drawings, and how climate, natural disasters, wars, variations in the hours of daylight throughout the year, and the celebration of holy days affected the pace and timing of work. Scott also explains such things as the role of relics, the quarrying and transporting of stone, and the incessant conflict cathedral-building projects caused within their communities. Finally, by drawing comparisons between Gothic cathedrals and other monumental building projects, such as Stonehenge, Scott expands our understanding of the human impulses that shape our landscape.   [brief]
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18. cover
Title: Gypsy law: Romani legal traditions and culture
Author: Weyrauch, Walter O. (Walter Otto) 1919-
Published: University of California Press,  2001
Subjects: Law | Cultural Anthropology | Ethnic Studies | Sociology | European  Studies | Political Theory
Publisher's Description: Approximately one thousand years ago Gypsies, or Roma, left their native India. Today Gypsies can be found in countries throughout the world, their distinct culture still intact in spite of the intense persecution they have endured. This authoritative collection brings together leading Gypsy and non-Gypsy scholars to examine the Romani legal system, an autonomous body of law based on an oral tradition and existing alongside dominant national legal networks. For centuries the Roma have survived by using defensive strategies, especially the absolute exclusion of gadje (non-Gypsies) from their private lives, their values, and information about Romani language and social institutions. Sexuality, gender, and the body are fundamental to Gypsy law, with rules that govern being pure (vujo) or impure (marime) . Women play an important role in maintaining legal customs, having the power to sanction and to contaminate, but they are not directly involved in legal proceedings. These essays offer a comparative perspective on Romani legal procedures and identity, including topics such as the United States' criminalization of many aspects of Gypsy law, parallels between Jewish and Gypsy law, and legal distinctions between Romani communities. The contributors raise broad theoretical questions that transcend the specific Gypsy context and offer important insights into understanding oral legal traditions. Together they suggest a theoretical framework for explaining the coexistence of formal and informal law within a single legal system. They also highlight the ethical dilemmas encountered in comparative law research and definitions of "human rights."   [brief]
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19. cover
Title: Heisenberg and the Nazi atomic bomb project: a study in German culture
Author: Rose, Paul Lawrence
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: History | European History | German Studies | European  Studies | Science | Technology and Society | Physics | History and Philosophy of Science
Publisher's Description: No one better represents the plight and the conduct of German intellectuals under Hitler than Werner Heisenberg, whose task it was to build an atomic bomb for Nazi Germany. The controversy surrounding Heisenberg still rages, because of the nature of his work and the regime for which it was undertaken. What precisely did Heisenberg know about the physics of the atomic bomb? How deep was his loyalty to the German government during the Third Reich? Assuming that he had been able to build a bomb, would he have been willing? These questions, the moral and the scientific, are answered by Paul Lawrence Rose with greater accuracy and breadth of documentation than any other historian has yet achieved.Digging deep into the archival record among formerly secret technical reports, Rose establishes that Heisenberg never overcame certain misconceptions about nuclear fission, and as a result the German leaders never pushed for atomic weapons. In fact, Heisenberg never had to face the moral problem of whether he should design a bomb for the Nazi regime. Only when he and his colleagues were interned in England and heard about Hiroshima did Heisenberg realize that his calculations were wrong. He began at once to construct an image of himself as a "pure" scientist who could have built a bomb but chose to work on reactor design instead. This was fiction, as Rose demonstrates: in reality, Heisenberg blindly supported and justified the cause of German victory. The question of why he did, and why he misrepresented himself afterwards, is answered through Rose's subtle analysis of German mentality and the scientists' problems of delusion and self-delusion. This fascinating study is a profound effort to understand one of the twentieth century's great enigmas.   [brief]
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20. cover
Title: Iconography of power: Soviet political posters under Lenin and Stalin
Author: Bonnell, Victoria E
Published: University of California Press,  1998
Subjects: Sociology | Popular Culture | European  Studies | Russian and Eastern European Studies | Politics | Art Criticism | History | European History
Publisher's Description: Masters at visual propaganda, the Bolsheviks produced thousands of vivid and compelling posters after they seized power in October 1917. Intended for a semi-literate population that was accustomed to the rich visual legacy of the Russian autocracy and the Orthodox Church, political posters came to occupy a central place in the regime's effort to imprint itself on the hearts and minds of the people and to remold them into the new Soviet women and men. In this first sociological study of Soviet political posters, Victoria Bonnell analyzes the shifts that took place in the images, messages, styles, and functions of political art from 1917 to 1953. Everyone who lived in Russia after the October revolution had some familiarity with stock images of the male worker, the great communist leaders, the collective farm woman, the capitalist, and others. These were the new icons' standardized images that depicted Bolshevik heroes and their adversaries in accordance with a fixed pattern. Like other "invented traditions" of the modern age, iconographic images in propaganda art were relentlessly repeated, bringing together Bolshevik ideology and traditional mythologies of pre-Revolutionary Russia. Symbols and emblems featured in Soviet posters of the Civil War and the 1920s gave visual meaning to the Bolshevik worldview dominated by the concept of class. Beginning in the 1930s, visual propaganda became more prescriptive, providing models for the appearance, demeanor, and conduct of the new social types, both positive and negative. Political art also conveyed important messages about the sacred center of the regime which evolved during the 1930s from the celebration of the heroic proletariat to the deification of Stalin. Treating propaganda images as part of a particular visual language, Bonnell shows how people "read" them - relying on their habits of seeing and interpreting folk, religious, commercial, and political art (both before and after 1917) as well as the fine art traditions of Russia and the West. Drawing on monumental sculpture and holiday displays as well as posters, the study traces the way Soviet propaganda art shaped the mentality of the Russian people (the legacy is present even today) and was itself shaped by popular attitudes and assumptions. Iconography of Power includes posters dating from the final decades of the old regime to the death of Stalin, located by the author in Russian, American, and English libraries and archives. One hundred exceptionally striking posters are reproduced in the book, many of them never before published. Bonnell places these posters in a historical context and provides a provocative account of the evolution of the visual discourse on power in Soviet Russia.   [brief]
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