The Shock of America: Europe and the Challenge of the Century (Oxford History of Modern Europe)

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9780198228790: The Shock of America: Europe and the Challenge of the Century (Oxford History of Modern Europe)
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The Shock of America is based on the proposition that whenever Europeans of the last 100 years or more contemplated those margins of their experience where change occurred, there, sooner or later, they would find America. How Europeans have come to terms over the decades with this dynamic force in their midst, and what these terms were, is the story at the heart of this text. Masses of Europeans have been enthralled by the real or imaginary prospects coming out of the USA. Important minorities were at times deeply upset by them. Sometime the roles were reversed or shaken up. But nobody could be indifferent for long. Inspiration, provocation, myth, menace, model: all these categories and many more have been deployed to try to cope with the Americans. Attitudes and stereotypes have emerged, intellectual resources have been mobilised, positions and policies developed; all trying to explain and deal with the kind of radiant modernity America built over the course of the twentieth century.

David Ellwood combines political, economic, and cultural themes, suggesting that American mass culture has provided the United States with a uniquely effective link between power and influence over time. The book is structured in three parts; a separation based on the proposition that America's influence as an unavoidable force for or against innovation was visible most conspicuously after Europe's three greatest military-political conflicts of the contemporary era: the Great War, World War II, and the Cold War. It concludes with the emotional upsurge in Europe which greeted the arrival of Obama on the world scene, suggesting that in spite of all the disappointments and frictions of the years, the US still retained its privileged place as a source of inspiration for the future across the Western world.

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About the Author:


David Ellwood is Senior Adjunct Professor of European and Eurasian Studies at The Johns Hopkins University's Paul H Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, Bologna. His first major book was Italy 1943-1945: The Politics of Liberation (1985) then came Rebuilding Europe: Western Europe, America and Postwar Reconstruction (1992). The fundamental theme of his research--the function of American power in contemporary European history--has shifted over the years to emphasise cultural power, particularly that of the American cinema industry. He was President of the International Association of Media and History 1999-2004 and a Fellow of the Rothermere America Institute, Oxford, in 2006.

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"This highly commendable addition to Oxford's History of Modern Europe series examines the US 'role as a model of modernity' for Europe from the late 19th century to the early 21st century. The author effectively marshals an impressive array of sources, conveniently footnoted, to support a wide-ranging examination of shifting European perspectives on the 'American Way.' Admirably written and convincingly argued. Essential."--CHOICE


"Ellwood's interpretation of American culture's vigor and innovation as a self-renovating soft power since World War II is consistently interesting."--The Journal of American History


"This is a book that will be of great interest to anyone who has been grappling with one of the most intriguing problems of the twentieth century."--Diplomatic History


"This is a central text for anyone who seeks to study Europe's fractured relationship with modernity or to understand the relationship between America and Western Europe in the modern world...Its scope is massive, resting on the analysis of hundreds of scholarly works in at least four languages and drawing from substantial, wide-ranging, original research."--IAmerican Historical Review


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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Shock of America is based on the proposition that whenever Europeans contemplated those margins of their experience where change occurred over the last 100 years or more, there, sooner or later, they would find America. How Europeans have come to terms over the decades with this dynamic force in their midst, and what these terms were, is the story at the heart of this text. Masses of Europeans have been enthralled by the real or imaginary prospects coming out of the USA. Important minorities were at times deeply upset by them. Sometime the roles were reversed or shaken up. But no-one could be indifferent for long. Inspiration, provocation, myth, menace, model: all these categories and many more have been deployed to try to cope with the Americans. Attitudes and stereotypes have emerged, intellectual resources have been mobilised, positions and policies developed: all trying to explain and deal with the kind of radiant supremacy the Americans built in the course of the twentieth century. David Ellwood combines political, economic, and cultural themes, suggesting that American mass culture is a distinctively incisive form of American power over time. The book is structured in three parts; a separation based on the proposition that America s influence as a decisive force for or against innovation was present most conspicuously after Europe s three greatest military-political conflicts of the contemporary era: the Great War, World War II, and the Cold War. It concludes with the emotional upsurge in Europe which greeted the arrival of Obama on the world scene, suggesting that in spite of all the disappointments and frictions of the years, the US still retained its privileged place as a source of inspiration for the future across the Western world. Seller Inventory # AOP9780198228790

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Book Description Oxford University Press, United Kingdom, 2012. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The Shock of America is based on the proposition that whenever Europeans contemplated those margins of their experience where change occurred over the last 100 years or more, there, sooner or later, they would find America. How Europeans have come to terms over the decades with this dynamic force in their midst, and what these terms were, is the story at the heart of this text. Masses of Europeans have been enthralled by the real or imaginary prospects coming out of the USA. Important minorities were at times deeply upset by them. Sometime the roles were reversed or shaken up. But no-one could be indifferent for long. Inspiration, provocation, myth, menace, model: all these categories and many more have been deployed to try to cope with the Americans. Attitudes and stereotypes have emerged, intellectual resources have been mobilised, positions and policies developed: all trying to explain and deal with the kind of radiant supremacy the Americans built in the course of the twentieth century. David Ellwood combines political, economic, and cultural themes, suggesting that American mass culture is a distinctively incisive form of American power over time. The book is structured in three parts; a separation based on the proposition that America s influence as a decisive force for or against innovation was present most conspicuously after Europe s three greatest military-political conflicts of the contemporary era: the Great War, World War II, and the Cold War. It concludes with the emotional upsurge in Europe which greeted the arrival of Obama on the world scene, suggesting that in spite of all the disappointments and frictions of the years, the US still retained its privileged place as a source of inspiration for the future across the Western world. Seller Inventory # AOP9780198228790

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