WINNER OF THE LOS ANGELES TIMES PRIZE FOR HISTORY
FINANCIAL TIMES AND NEW STATESMAN BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2014
On the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War, Deluge is a powerful explanation of why the war’s legacy continues to shape our world – from Adam Tooze, the Wolfson Prize-winning author of The Wages of Destruction
In the depths of the Great War, with millions of dead and no imaginable end to the conflict, societies around the world began to buckle. As the cataclysmic battles continued, a new global order was being born.
Adam Tooze’s panoramic new book tells a radical, new story of the struggle for global mastery from the battles of the Western Front in 1916 to the Great Depression of the 1930s. The war shook the foundations of political and economic order across Eurasia. Empires that had lasted since the Middle Ages collapsed into ruins. New nations sprang up. Strikes, street-fighting and revolution convulsed much of the world. And beneath the surface turmoil, the war set in motion a deeper and more lasting shift, a transformation that continues to shape the present day: 1916 was the year when world affairs began to revolve around the United States.
America was both a uniquely powerful global force: a force that was forward-looking, the focus of hope, money and ideas, and at the same time elusive, unpredictable and in fundamental respects unwilling to confront these unwished for responsibilities. Tooze shows how the fate of effectively the whole of civilization – the British Empire, the future of peace in Europe, the survival of the Weimar Republic, both the Russian and Chinese revolutions and stability in the Pacific – now came to revolve around this new power’s fraught relationship with a shockingly changed world.
The Deluge is both a brilliantly illuminating exploration of the past and an essential history for the present.
Tooze made his name with The Wages of Destruction . . . His study of the post-1918 era is equally impressive, explaining why the US and its allies, having defeated Germany, were unable to stabilize the world economy and build a collective security system in Europe -- Tony Barber * Financial Times BOOKS OF THE YEAR * Interesting, engaging and very readable ... Underpinning this account is an impressive facility with numbers and an ability to analyse them that is increasingly rare among historians nowadays ... he has also delivered, for the first time, ...a clear and compelling rationale as to why it is actually worth going back and looking at the era of the First World War at this particular moment in time ... The Deluge reminds us, then, why we write history and why we should read it * Literary Review * Adam Tooze's masterly book should be required reading for anyone who wants to truly understand the significance of the war ... Extensively researched and written with exemplary clarity, this work is as monumentally ambitious as its subject ... his powers of description and analysis range across all inhabited continents ... this is a valuable look at the ways in which the years after the war came to define the rest of the 20th century * BBC History Magazine * It is particularly refreshing to read Adam Tooze's book ... it confirms his stature as an analyst of hugely complex political and economic issues ... Tooze's book covers a huge geographical sweep ... he shows himself a formidably impressive chronicler of a critical period of modern history, unafraid of bold judgements -- Max Hastings * Sunday Times * A remarkable new synthesis which draws on [Tooze's] two particular areas of expertise, Eurasia and especially Germany, and the global financial system revolving around London ... the great strength of his book is that he invites us to look at familiar events in unfamiliar ways ... Tooze's account brims with contemporary resonances ... He is too good a historian, however, to turn this into a simple argument for Keynesian deficit financing ... the general public and policymakers alike will - must! - turn to Adam Tooze for instruction -- Brendan Simms * Tablet * Bold and ambitious . . . probably the best of the current books about the First World War * Observer *
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