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A critical study of the war on the Eastern Front between 1941 and 1945 offers an in-depth accounting of the events, personalities, and implications of this key chapter of World War II, from the end of the fragile alliance between Hitler and Stalin, to the fierce front line campaigns, to the devastating cost of the war on both sides and the far-reaching repercussions of the conflict. 20,000 first printing.
Wars have played a fundamental part in modern German history. Although infrequent, conflicts involving German states have usually been extensive and often catastrophic, constituting turning-points for Europe as a whole. Absolute War is the first in a series of studies from Mark Hewitson that explore how such conflicts were experienced by soldiers and civilians during wartime, and how they were subsequently imagined and understood during peacetime, from Clausewitz and Kleist to Junger and Adorno. Without such an understanding, it is difficult to make sense of the dramatic shifts characterising the politics of Germany and Europe over the past two centuries. The studies argue that the ease - or reluctance - with which Germans went to war, and the far-reaching consequences of such wars on domestic politics, were related to soldiers' and civilians' attitudes to violence and death, as well as to long-term transformations in contemporaries' conceptualisation of conflict. Absolute War reassesses the meaning of military conflict for the millions of German subjects who were directly implicated in the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars. Based on a re-reading of contemporary diaries, letters, memoirs, official correspondence, press reports, pamphlets, treatises, plays, and cartoons, this volume refocuses attention on combat and conscription as the central components of new forms of mass warfare. It concentrates, in particular, on the impact of violence, killing, and death on many soldiers' and some civilians' experiences and subsequent memories of conflict. War has often been conceived of as 'an act of violence pushed to its utmost bounds', as Clausewitz put it, but the relationship between military conflicts and violent acts remains a problematic one.
This book is an analysis of terrorism, a summary of its historical evolution, and an evaluation of its contemporary character. The struggle against terrorism has taken on a military character, and a Clausewitz perspective is necessary to show how warfare subordinates use of force to political considerations.
This is the first comparative transnational approach to the language of absolute war and the literature on World War II.
This book explores for the first time the literature of absolute war in connection to World War II. From a transnational and comparative standpoint, it addresses a set of theoretical, historical, and literary questions, shedding new light on the nature of absolute war, the literature on the world war of 1939-45, and modern war writing in general. It determines the main features of the language of absolute war, and how it gravitates around fundamental semantic clusters, such as the horror, terror, and the specter. The Literature of Absolute War studies the variegated responses given by literary authors to the extreme and seemingly unsolvable challenges posed by absolute war to epistemology, ethics, and language. It also delves into the different poetics that articulate the writing on absolute war, placing special emphasis on four literary practices: traditional realism, traumatic realism, the fantastic, and catastrophic modernism.
On 2 August 1944, in the wake of the complete destruction of the German Army Group Centre in Belorussia, Winston Churchill mocked Adolf Hitler in the House of Commons by the rank he had reached in the First World War. 'Russian success has been somewhat aided by the strategy of Herr Hitler, of Corporal Hitler,' Churchill jibed. 'Even military idiots find it difficult not to see some faults in his actions.' Andrew Roberts's previous book Masters and Commanders studied the creation of Allied grand strategy; Beating Corporal Hitler now analyses how Axis strategy evolved. Examining the Second World War on every front, Roberts asks whether, with a different decision-making process and a different strategy, the Axis might even have won. Were those German generals who blamed everything on Hitler after the war correct, or were they merely scapegoating their former Führer once he was safely beyond defending himself? In researching this uniquely vivid history of the Second World War Roberts has walked many of the key battlefield and wartime sites of Russia, France, Italy, Germany and the Far East. The book is full of illuminating sidelights on the principle actors that bring their characters and the ways in which they reached decisions into fresh focus.
We know that trauma can leave syndromes in its wake. But can the anticipation of violence be a form of violence as well? Tense Future argues that it can-that twentieth-century war technologies and practices, particularly the aerial bombing of population centers, introduced non-combatants to a coercive and traumatizing expectation. During wartime, civilians braced for the next raid; during peacetime they braced for the next war. The pre-traumatic stress they experienced permeates the century's public debates and cultural works. In a series of groundbreaking readings, Saint-Amour illustrates how air war prophets theorized the wounding power of anticipation, how archive theory changed course in war's shadow, and how speculative fiction conjured visions of a civilizational collapse that would end literacy itself. And in this book's central chapters, he shows us how Ford Madox Ford, Robert Musil, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, and other interwar modernist writers faced the memory of one war and the prospect of another, some by pitting their fictions' encyclopedic scale and formal turbulence against total war, others by conceding war's inevitability while refusing to long for a politically regressive peace. Total war: a conflict that exempts no one, disregarding any difference between soldier and civilian. Tense Future forever alters our understanding of the concept of total war by tracing its emergence during the First World War, its incubation in air power theory between the wars, and above all its profound partiality. For total war, during most of the twentieth century, meant conflict between imperial nation states; it did not include the violence those states routinely visited on colonial subjects during peacetime. Tacking back and forth between metropole and colony, between world war and police action, Saint-Amour describes the interwar refashioning of a world system of violence-production, one that remains largely intact in our own moment of perpetual interwar.

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