Synopses & Reviews
Concern over the present state of the worldits tensions and disparities--fosters in many people the uneasy combination of two sensations: urgency and powerlessness. We feel that something must be done before it is too late, but we have little idea of what we as individuals, or as families, or as groups of friends, can possibly do to stem the tide.
This book explores the choices we have. It considers the options for civil society, and for the individual within todays political culture. It offers a strong critique of the prevailing model of modernity in developed countries, a model which is being exported and imposed on the rest of the world.
The solution lies in our own hands. We need to rethink the choices we make on a day-to-day basis: the ways we use our time, the family lives we live, the sorts of goods and services we consume, the quality of democracy we are able to exercise. The individual, the local, and the global are inextricably intertwined, in positive as well as in negative ways. Passivity and indifference at the individual level contribute greatly to collective dismay at the condition of the world.
“At the heart of the book is an analysis of ‘everyday politics and what kind of links can be established between individual choices and global politics. Ginsborgs themes are relevant to the politics of many countries, particularly those in Europe and North America.”—Andrew Gamble, Sheffield University
“This book has all Ginsborgs usual strengths: fluency, vitality, vividness, and a wonderful warmth and directness.”—John Dunn, Cambridge University
“Succinct and lucid. . . . Ginsborg is best known for his authoritative surveys of postwar Italy. . . . In recent years Mr. Ginsborg has been a protagonist in the movement to strengthen Italian civil society and reconfigure the Italian left to meet the challenge of defeating Mr. Berlusconi.”-The New York Times, review of Berlusconi
A passionate defense of local politics in an age dominated by global media empires.
An exploration of the convulsive history of the 20th century's first five decades, seen through the lens of families and family life
In this masterly twentieth-century history, Paul Ginsborg places the family at center stage, a novel perspective from which to examine key moments of revolution and dictatorship. His groundbreaking book spans 1900 to 1950 and encompasses five nation states in the throes of dramatic transition: Russia in revolutionary passage from Empire to Soviet Union; Turkey in transition from Ottoman Empire to modern Republic; Italy, from liberalism to fascism; Spain during the Second Republic and Civil War; and Germany from the failure of the Weimar Republic to the National Socialist state.
Ginsborg explores the effects of political upheaval and radical social policies on family life and, in turn, the impact of families on revolutionary change itself. Families, he shows, do not simply experience the effects of political power, but are themselves actors in the historical process. The author brings human and personal elements to the fore with biographical details and individual family histories, along with a fascinating selection of family photographs and portraits.
From WWI--an indelible backdrop and imprinting force on the first half of the twentieth century--to post-war dictatorial power and family engineering initiatives, to the conclusion of WWII, this book shines new light on the profound relations among revolution, dictatorship, and family.
This book confronts the prevalent feeling of powerlessness among ordinary people in the worlds developed countries and explores the choices we have. Historian and activist Paul Ginsborg critiques todays model of civil society and the distorted relationship between politics and the media, pointing to solutions that lie within the grasp of thoughtful individuals.
About the Author
taught at Cambridge before becoming professor of contemporary European history at the University of Florence. He has become vigorously involved in Italian civic affairs, especially in reaction to Silvio Berlusconi, and his critical biography of Berlusconi reached the top of the Italian non-fiction bestseller charts. He is also the author of A History of Contemporary Italy
and Italy and Its Discontents.