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European Identity and the Second World War
 
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European Identity and the Second World War
 
 
Palgrave Macmillan
 
 
 
 
 
08 Mar 2011
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£67.00
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9780230273238
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DescriptionReviewsContentsAuthors

This book has two concepts at its centre: Europe, and the Second World War. Both are constantly changing in the public perception, when 'Europe' is an even more contested idea than it has ever been, struggling with the consequences of enlargement to the east, and with the confrontation with its 'others' in various forms. This collection of essays informs the current discourse about European identity, by means of a targeted analysis of Europe's reaction to the tragedy, heroism and disgrace of the Second World War: for it is in that post-war period that lie many of the origins of our current attitudes to and about the continent.

But European identity is not only about European integration. What have been the perceived essential characteristics of Europeans, what have been the European values, what has 'European civilization' consisted of? These ideas, positive and negative, about what it meant to be European in the aftermath of World War II, come to light in this book.


Description

This book has two concepts at its centre: Europe, and the Second World War. Both are constantly changing in the public perception, when 'Europe' is an even more contested idea than it has ever been, struggling with the consequences of enlargement to the east, and with the confrontation with its 'others' in various forms. This collection of essays informs the current discourse about European identity, by means of a targeted analysis of Europe's reaction to the tragedy, heroism and disgrace of the Second World War: for it is in that post-war period that lie many of the origins of our current attitudes to and about the continent.

But European identity is not only about European integration. What have been the perceived essential characteristics of Europeans, what have been the European values, what has 'European civilization' consisted of? These ideas, positive and negative, about what it meant to be European in the aftermath of World War II, come to light in this book.


Reviews

'The question of how to define European identity remains fiercely contested in contemporary politics and scholarship. This fascinating collection of essays explores how the lacerating experience of the Second World War impacted on thinking about the meaning of Europe, in ways that still resonate today'.
  - Patrick Finney, Aberystwyth University


Contents

List of Illustrations
Preface
Acknowledgements
Notes on the Contributors
Introduction
Ideals, Identity and War: the Idea of Europe, 1939-70; M.Wintle
PART I: WORLD WAR II, EUROPE AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Human Rights and European Identity since World War II: Vergangenheitsbewältigung through Law; H.Porsdam
Before Integration: Human Rights and Post-war Europe; H.Schulz-Forberg
From War Talk to Rights Talk: Exile Politics, Human Rights, and the Two World Wars ; J.Winter
PART II: REFLECTIONS: NARRATIVES OF EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION AND WORLD WAR II
Myth and History in European Post-War History Writing; J.Ifversen
From Nazi Legacy to Cold War: British Perceptions of European Identity, 1945-5; W.Webster
The Nordic Way Out: Europe in Danish Literature after the Second World War ; H.van der Liet
'Europe is the Country of the Spirit': Albert Camus and Europeanism in France, 1944-47; M.van Montfrans
PART III: VISIONS: PLANS FOR A NEW EUROPE AFTER WORLD WAR II
The Ventotene Manifesto: the Crisis of the Nation State and the Political Identity of Europe; M.D'Auria
Max Kohnstamm's New Europe; A.van Heerikhuizen
Atoms for Europe; M.Spiering
Before Self-Reflexivity: Imperialism and Colonialism in the Early Discourses of European Integration; W.Schmale
PART IV: SHOAH, WAR AND EUROPEAN CIVILIZATION
Holocaust Literature and the Shaping of European Identity after the Second World War: the Case of Jorge Semprún; K-M.Simonsen
Goodbye to All That? Jewish Views of Europe after 1945; I.Zwiep
Language out of Darkness: George Steiner Speaking the Unspeakable; R.G.Soeiro
Index


Authors

MENNO SPIERING Lecturer in European Studies at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands where he directs the European Studies Masters programme. He has published on issues of national identity and Anglo-European relations. His titles include Ideas of Europe: The Legacy of the First World War (2002); and Euroscepticism: Party Politics, National Identity and European Integration (Rodopi, 2005).

MICHAEL WINTLE studied at Cambridge, Ghent and Hull Universities, and now holds the chair of European History at the University of Amsterdam, the Netherlands, where he works in the teaching and research programmes in European Studies. Prior to 2002, he was Professor of European History at the University of Hull, UK, where he had taught since 1980. He has published widely on Dutch and European history, including the following recent books: Ideas of Europe since 1914 (also with M. Spiering, Palgrave, 2002); Image into Identity (Rodopi, 2006); Imagining Europe (Peter Lang, 2008); and The Image of Europe (Cambridge UP, 2009).