The Age of the Dictators: A Study of the European Dictatorships, 1918-53

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9780582505803: The Age of the Dictators: A Study of the European Dictatorships, 1918-53

The Age of the Dictators presents a comprehensive survey of the origins and interrelationship of the European dictatorships. All the regimes are addressed, with ample coverage of the period 1939-45, and analysis of the Soviet government up to Stalin’s death in 1953.

Exploring their ideological and political roots, and the role of the First World War in their rise to power, David Williams identifies the dictatorships as products of their time.  He examines the Soviet, Italian Fascist and Nazi dictatorships, as well as the authoritarian regimes in Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe and the Balkans, providing an analysis of each as an entity, of how they evolved and related to one another, and to what extent they were a common response to life after the First World War.

Mindful of historiographical issues, the textbook attends to the arguments of key historians, and includes a list of relevant sources to assist students in their study of the period. Combining an accessible, succinct writing style with a broad historical scope, The Age of the Dictators is an illuminating and thorough account of a fascinating period in world history.

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From the Back Cover:

Williamson Age of the Dictators

 

In 1918, the after-effects of ‘the seminal catastrophe of the twentieth century’, the First World War, were just beginning to be felt. The realization of the price of war: the destruction of entire countries and the huge loss of life, sent shockwaves of social anxiety across the globe. 

 

In Europe, the birthplace of democracy, a growing sense of national decline and impending chaos drove entire populations to the same political answer: stability and restored pride in exchange for political freewill. Here began ‘the age of the dictators’.

 

In his insightful new book, David Williamson examines the regimes that characterized this age. Nazism, Stalinist Russia, and Italian Fascism are dealt with alongside the authoritarian regimes of Spain, Portugal, Eastern Europe and the Balkans. Examined both individually and in comparison with each other, Williamson leads us to some striking revelations and uncomfortable truths regarding the roots, reality and impact of these dictatorial states and the men who ran them.

 

Leading the reader through this time of massive change, Williamson includes:

  • timelines and  guides to key dates 
  • summaries of historical debates that shaped the age
  • a comprehensive glossary to ‘technical’ terms
  • a cross-referencing system to help the reader compare different regimes.

 

David Williamson is former Head of History at Highgate School and lecturer at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln.  He is now a freelance lecturer and writer. He is the author of numerous books, including War and Peace: International Relations, 1914-45 and  The Third Reich andGermany Since 1918.

 

 

Cover image:

 

This cartoon of December 1936 by 'Kem', Kimon Marengo, depicts Mussolini as the mother wolf from Rome's Capitoline Hill. In the place of Romulus and Remus are (from the right) Hitler, Kemal Attaturk, General Metaxas of Greece, General Franco of Spain and, clutching the tail, Sir Oswold Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists.

 

 

 

About the Author:

David Williamson is former Head of History at Highgate School and lecturer at Bishop Grosseteste College, Lincoln. He is now a freelance lecturer and writer. He is the author of numerous books, including War and Peace: International Relations, 1914-45 and The Third Reich andGermany Since 1918.

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