Synopses & Reviews
"This is the kind of investigatory history Hochschild pulls off like no one else . . . Hochschild is a master at chronicling how prevailing cultural opinion is formed and, less frequently, how it's challenged." and#8212; Maureen Corrigan, NPRand#8217;s Fresh Air
World War I was supposed to be the and#8220;war to end all wars.and#8221; Over four long years, nations around the globe were sucked into the tempest, and millions of men died on the battlefields. To this day, the war stands as one of historyand#8217;s most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation.
To End All Wars focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the warand#8217;s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Many of these dissenters were thrown in jail for their opposition to the war, from a future Nobel Prize winner to an editor behind bars who distributed a clandestine newspaper on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britainand#8217;s most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other.
As Adam Hochschild brings the Great War to life as never before, he forces us to confront the big questions: Why did so many nations get so swept up in the violence? Why couldnand#8217;t cooler heads prevail? And can we ever avoid repeating history?
"Hochschild brings fresh drama to the story and explores it in provocative ways . . . Exemplary in all respects." and#8212; Jonathan Yardley, Washington Post
"Superb . . . Brilliantly written and reads like a novel . . . [Hochschild] gives us yet another absorbing chronicle of the redeeming power of protest." and#8212; Minneapolis Star Tribune
In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings WWI to life as never before, focusing on the long-ignored moral drama of its critics, alongside its generals and heroes. A brilliant new history of the Great War that raises the eternal question of why such a terrible war was ever fought.
World War I stands as one of historyand#8217;s most senseless spasms of carnage, defying rational explanation. In a riveting, suspenseful narrative with haunting echoes for our own time, Adam Hochschild brings it to life as never before. He focuses on the long-ignored moral drama of the warand#8217;s critics, alongside its generals and heroes. Thrown in jail for their opposition to the war were Britainand#8217;s leading investigative journalist, a future winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature, and an editor who, behind bars, published a newspaper for his fellow inmates on toilet paper. These critics were sometimes intimately connected to their enemy hawks: one of Britainand#8217;s most prominent women pacifist campaigners had a brother who was commander in chief on the Western Front. Two well-known sisters split so bitterly over the war that they ended up publishing newspapers that attacked each other.and#160;
Today, hundreds of military cemeteries spread across the fields of northern France and Belgium contain the bodies of millions of men who died in the and#8220;war to end all wars.and#8221; Can we ever avoid repeating history?
Although some twenty million people died during Stalins reign of terror, only with the advent of glasnost did Russians begin to confront their memories of that time. In 1991, Adam Hochschild spent nearly six months in Russia talking to gulag survivors, retired concentration camp guards, and countless others. The result is a riveting evocation of a country still haunted by the ghost of Stalin.
In the 1880s, as the European powers were carving up Africa, King Leopold II of Belgium seized for himself the vast and mostly unexplored territory surrounding the Congo River. Carrying out a genocidal plundering of the Congo, he looted its rubber, brutalized its people, and ultimately slashed its population by ten million--all the while shrewdly cultivating his reputation as a great humanitarian. Heroic efforts to expose these crimes eventually led to the first great human rights movement of the twentieth century, in which everyone from Mark Twain to the Archbishop of Canterbury participated. King Leopold's Ghost is the haunting account of a megalomaniac of monstrous proportions, a man as cunning, charming, and cruel as any of the great Shakespearean villains. It is also the deeply moving portrait of those who fought Leopold: a brave handful of missionaries, travelers, and young idealists who went to Africa for work or adventure and unexpectedly found themselves witnesses to a holocaust. Adam Hochschild brings this largely untold story alive with the wit and skill of a Barbara Tuchman. Like her, he knows that history often provides a far richer cast of characters than any novelist could invent. Chief among them is Edmund Morel, a young British shipping agent who went on to lead the international crusade against Leopold. Another hero of this tale, the Irish patriot Roger Casement, ended his life on a London gallows. Two courageous black Americans, George Washington Williams and William Sheppard, risked much to bring evidence of the Congo atrocities to the outside world. Sailing into the middle of the story was a young Congo River steamboat officer named Joseph Conrad. And looming above them all, the duplicitous billionaire King Leopold II. With great power and compassion, King Leopold's Ghost will brand the tragedy of the Congo--too long forgotten--onto the conscience of the West.
The epic, untold story of Chinaand#8217;s devastating eight-year war of resistance against Japan in World War II.
An Economist Book of the Year
A Financial Times Book of the Year
andldquo;A book that has long cried out to be written.andrdquo; andmdash; Observer (UK), Books of the Year
In 1937, two years before Hitler invaded Poland, Chinese troops clashed with Japanese occupiers in the first battle of World War II. Joining with the United States, the Soviet Union, and Great Britain, China became the fourth great ally in a devastating struggle for its very survival.
Prizewinning historian Rana Mitter unfurls Chinaandrsquo;s drama of invasion, resistance, slaughter, and political intrigue as never before. Based on groundbreaking research, this gripping narrative focuses on a handful of unforgettable characters, including Chiang Kai-shek, Mao Zedong, and Chiangandrsquo;s American chief of staff, andldquo;Vinegar Joeandrdquo; Stilwell. Mitter also recounts the sacrifice and resilience of everyday Chinese people through the horrors of bombings, famines, and the infamous Rape of Nanking.
More than any other twentieth-century event, World War II was crucial in shaping Chinaandrsquo;s worldview, making Forgotten Ally both a definitive work of history and an indispensable guide to todayandrsquo;s China and its relationship with the West.
andldquo;In the manner of David McCullough, [Mitter] creates a complex history that is urgently alive.andrdquo; andmdash; Kirkus Reviews
From the author of the widely acclaimed King Leopold's Ghost comes the taut, gripping account of one of the most brilliantly organized social justice campaigns in history -- the fight to free the slaves of the British Empire. In early 1787, twelve men -- a printer, a lawyer, a clergyman, and others united by their hatred of slavery -- came together in a London printing shop and began the world's first grass-roots movement, battling for the rights of people on another continent. Masterfully stoking public opinion, the movement's leaders pioneered a variety of techniques that have been adopted by citizens' movements ever since, from consumer boycotts to wall posters and lapel buttons to celebrity endorsements. A deft chronicle of this groundbreaking antislavery crusade and its powerful enemies, Bury the Chains gives a little-celebrated human rights watershed its due at last.
History lies heavily on South Africa, and Adam Hochschild brings to bear a lifetime's familiarity with the country in an eye-opening work that blends history and reportage. Hochschild looks at the tensions of modern South Africa through a dramatic prism: the pivotal nineteenth-century Battle of Blood River -- which determined whether the Boers or the Zulus would control that part of the world -- and its contentious commemoration by rival groups 150 years later. This incisive book offers an unusual window onto a society that remains divided. In his epilogue, Hochschild extends his view to the astonishing political changes that have occurred in the country in recent years -- and the changes yet to be made.
About the Author
ADAM HOCHSCHILDandnbsp;has written for The New Yorker, Harperand#39;s, The New York Review of Books, Granta, The New York Times Magazine, and many other newspapers and magazines. In King Leopoldandrsquo;s Ghost, To End All Wars, and other books, Hochschild has earned a reputation as a master of suspense and vivid character portrayal. His skill at evoking such struggles for justice has made him a finalist for the National Book Award and won him a host of other prizes.
Table of Contents
List of Maps ix
Introduction: Clash of Dreams xi
Part I Dramatis Personae
and#160;1. Brother and Sister 3
and#160;2. A Man of No Illusions 16
and#160;3. A Clergymanand#8217;s Daughter 27
and#160;4. Holy Warriors 40
and#160;5. Boy Miner 54
and#160;6. On the Eve 65
Part II 1914
and#160;7. A Strange Light 79
and#160;8. As Swimmers into Cleanness Leaping 98
and#160;9. The God of Right Will Watch the Fight 114
Part III 1915
and#160;10. This Isnand#8217;t War 135
and#160;11. In the Thick of It 147
and#160;12. Not This Tide 160
Part IV 1916
and#160;13. We Regret Nothing 177
and#160;14. God, God, Whereand#8217;s the Rest of the Boys? 200
and#160;15. Casting Away Arms 215
Part V 1917
and#160;16. Between the Lionand#8217;s Jaws 241
and#160;17. The World Is My Country 257
and#160;18. Drowning on Land 275
and#160;19. Please Donand#8217;t Die 289
Part VI 1918
and#160;20. Backs to the Wall 309
and#160;21. There Are More Dead Than Living Now 329
Part VII Exeunt Omnes
and#160;22. The Deviland#8217;s Own Hand 347
and#160;23. An Imaginary Cemetery 360
Source Notes 379
About the Author 449