Europeans and Jews in the Aftermath of the Great War
Description: By the end of World War I, in November 1918, Europe's old authoritarian empires had fallen, and new and seemingly democratic governments were rising from the debris. As successor states found their places on the map, many hoped that a more liberal Europe would emerge. But this postwar idealism all too quickly collapsed under the political and economic pressures of the 1920's and 1930's.
Howard M. Sachar chronicles this visionary and tempestuous era by examining the fortunes of Europe's Jewish minority, a group whose precarious status made it particularly sensitive to changes in the social order. Writing with characteristic lucidity and verve, Sachar spotlights an array of charismatic leaders from Hungarian Communist Bela Kun to Germany's Rosa Luxemburg, France's Socialist Prime Minister Leon Blum, and Austria's Sigmund Freud whose collective experience foretold significant democratic failures long before the Nazi rise to power. In the richness of its human tapestry and the acuity of its social insights, Dreamland masterfully expands our understanding of a watershed era in modern history.