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Dangerous Language — Esperanto under Hitler and Stalin

Authors: Lins, Ulrich

  • Offers a compelling, rigorously-documented account of Esperanto’s remarkable survival among the nightmares of communism and fascism
  • Presents a story of the language movement that outlasted the particular political ideologies of modern nation states
  • Examines the plight of individual Esperantists caught in the vice of repressive, nationalistic ideologies
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eBook $74.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54917-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54916-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
About this book

This is Volume 1 of Dangerous Language. This book examines the rise of the international language Esperanto, launched in 1887 as a proposed solution to national conflicts and a path to a more tolerant world. The chapters in this volume chart the emergence of Esperanto as an answer to a widespread democratic desire for direct person-to-person international communication regardless of political boundaries. Its early success was limited, mostly because of the Czarist regime's suspicion of direct communication with foreigners, and, later, similar suspicion by dictatorial regimes generally. As speakers of a "dangerous language," its adepts were harassed and persecuted, especially in Germany and the Soviet Union. This book argues that the fate of Esperanto over the 130 years of its existence serves as a barometer to measure the degree to which regimes tolerate spontaneous personal contact with other countries and allow the pursuit of self-education outside prescribed national or ideological constraints. This book will appeal to a wide readership, including linguists, historians, political scientists and others interested in the history of the twentieth century from the unusual perspective of language. This volume is complemented by the sister volume Dangerous Language - Esperanto and the Decline of Stalinism which offers a concentration on the Cold War history of Esperanto in Eastern Europe.

About the authors

Ulrich Lins received his doctorate at the University of Cologne, Germany, with a dissertation on Japanese nationalism (published in 1976). For thirty years he worked for DAAD, the German Academic Exchange Service in its headquarters in Bonn, and served two tours of duty as head of its office in Tokyo. He has edited numbers of books in German and Japanese on German-Japanese relations and on Germany following reunion. The present volume, written originally in Esperanto, has appeared in German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, and Lithuanian translations.
Humphrey Tonkin is President Emeritus of the University of Hartford, USA, where he served as University Professor of Humanities. He studied English and comparative literature at Cambridge and Harvard (Ph.D. 1966) and has written widely on literary topics and on international education and language policy.  He has published numbers of translations from English to Esperanto and from Esperanto to English.

Reviews

“Humphrey Tonkin’s English translation of Ulrich Lins’ work … offers a comprehensive analysis of the advent and diffusion of the International Language, charting its development from the embryonic wrangling of creator Lazar Zamenhof amidst the pogroms of the Russian Empire, to the language’s reactionary reception by Nazi and Soviet authorities. … Lins explores the invented language’s history methodically and intimately, resulting in a text that is admirably accessible to the interested layperson and the invested academic alike.” (David Selfe, The Kelvongrove Review, Issue 16, June, 2017) 


“The history of Esperanto is usually related by Esperantists, for Esperantists — and in Esperanto. This expanded translation of Ulrich Lins’s decades of research into the persecution of Esperantists makes for fascinating reading well beyond that community. Esperanto has no homeland, and for that very reason drew the ire of nationalists and other ideologues from across the political spectrum. This is, in short, nothing less than an alternative history of nationalism.” (Michael D. Gordin, Rosengarten Professor of Modern and Contemporary History, Princeton University, US)

“This book gives a carefully supported account of a crucial aspect of the Esperanto movement’s history, focusing on political repression by totalitarian regimes, especially those of Hitler and Stalin. It also sheds light on opposition elsewhere and is eye-opening for anyone interested in language policy and global communication.” (Ulrich Ammon, Emeritus Professor of Germanic Linguistics at Duisberg-Essen University, Germany)

Table of contents (7 chapters)

Buy this book

eBook $74.99
price for USA (gross)
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54917-4
  • Digitally watermarked, DRM-free
  • Included format: PDF, EPUB
  • ebooks can be used on all reading devices
  • Immediate eBook download after purchase
Hardcover $95.00
price for USA
  • ISBN 978-1-137-54916-7
  • Free shipping for individuals worldwide
  • Usually dispatched within 3 to 5 business days.
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Bibliographic Information

Bibliographic Information
Book Title
Dangerous Language — Esperanto under Hitler and Stalin
Authors
Translated by
Tonkin, H.
Copyright
2016
Publisher
Palgrave Macmillan UK
Copyright Holder
The Editor(s) (if applicable) and The Author(s)
eBook ISBN
978-1-137-54917-4
DOI
10.1057/978-1-137-54917-4
Hardcover ISBN
978-1-137-54916-7
Edition Number
1
Number of Pages
XVIII, 299
Number of Illustrations
8 b/w illustrations, 1 illustrations in colour
Topics