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Re-visiting World War I

Interpretations and Perspectives of the Great Conflict

Edited By Jarosław Suchoples and Stephanie James

This book discusses various aspects of World War I. It focuses on topics proposed by contributors resulting from their own research interests. Nevertheless, as a result of common efforts, re-visiting those chosen aspects of the Great War of 1914–1918 enables the presentation of a volume that shows the multidimensional nature and consequences of this turning point in the history of particular nations, if not all mankind. This book, if treated as an intellectual journey through several continents, shows that World War I was not exclusively Europe’s war, and that it touched – in different ways – more parts of the globe than usually considered.
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Jan M. Piskorski - Suicide or Comeback? Europe from 1914 to 2014

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Jan M. Piskorski

Institute of History and International Relations (IHiSM) University of Szczecin, Poland

Suicide or Comeback? Europe from 1914 to 2014

Abstract: Europe changed dramatically in the last hundred years. In the first part of this period Europe faced two world wars, a Bolshevist revolution, fascism and Nazism, forced labour, flight, expulsion and mass killings. In the second part, there has been patient reconstruction, human rights and a long lasting peace which seems in danger of ending now. In context of new discussions about World War I and its legacy, the author firstly asks what Europe is. Unfortunately, this question has not appeared at all in the current discussions about World War I, although only when this question is answered allows a move to the next question, what was World War I for Europe: downfall, suicide, a catalyst of following European wars, the seminal catastrophe of the 20th century, or the catastrophe which ended as Europe’s comeback? He stresses that while the years 1914–1918 were catastrophic for European empires, Europe itself was strengthened through the war and the development, which it allowed. Europe emerged from the breakdown of the Roman Empire as a Europe for free people. The author also asks, if the empires which ruled over most of Europe in the 19th century were doomed. His answer is: yes and no. If the empires had put an end to social and national oppression, they may have survived. But...

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