In this article, historian, David Hoffman discusses the trends of modernity during the late 19th to 20th century, particularly in Russia as it became the Soviet Union. According to Hoffman, modernity is linked with the many ideals of the Enlightenment. Many tend to link the term modernity with democracy and associate it with the political and economic systems of the United States, England, and France. Hoffman briefly discusses the ideas of the enlightenment and the need for reason.… Read the rest here
For most of Europe in the 19th century, modernity was seen as the emergence of nation-states, the establishment of a parliamentary democracy, and the rise of capitalism. Imperial Russia and Soviet modernity differed from this concept. Instead, their modernity focused on Enlightenment ideals such as the belief in progress, a focus on reason, and the belittlement of religion and tradition. The inclusion of Russian modernity broadens the definition parameters of this obscure term. The Soviet Union encompassed mass politics, population management, and socialism.… Read the rest here
In the article “European Modernity and Soviet Socialism,” David Hoffman strives to eradicate the notion of Russia being unique in comparison with other European countries (and therefore backwards and uncivilized). While Russia did not follow the path of “…liberal democracy and industrial capitalism which characterized the political and economic systems of England, France, and the United States,” (Hoffman, 245) Russia certainly can be perceived as modern, if only the very definition of modernity be broadened.
Hoffman notes that in Western Europe, the definition of modernity and what constitutes as “modern” is very specific.… Read the rest here
David Hoffman’s article analyzes the meanings of what it means to be a modern state and how the Soviet Union has historically fit into this definition. A modern state is recognized as a nation-state that has developed a system of parliamentary democracy and a social and economic system based on industrial capitalism (Hoffman, 246). He acknowledges that the Soviet Union did not develop at the same rate or way compared to its European counterparts, particularly France and England.… Read the rest here
Within David L. Hoffman’s article about European Modernity and Soviet Socialism he explores the many ways that the European governments viewed their populations. He further explores the many different policies and regulations that they put upon their populations. To view the history of Russia and its take on its population one must understand that while England and France were transforming into liberal, democratic, and a industrial capitalistic state, Russia did not follow suit. Russia remained a absolute monarchy under the tzars .… Read the rest here
The introduction and first chapter of The Lost Children by Tara Zahra and the first chapter of Cultivating the Masses by David Hoffman both explore the concept of the welfare state. Although these works focus on different groups, Zarah focusing on children and Hoffman focusing on the population as a whole, both authors have come to the same conclusion; a country’s welfare programs are implemented to benefit the country as whole, not necessarily for an individual’s gain.… Read the rest here
Tara Zahra’s book, The Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II, describes the psychological impacts and social problems of war on displaced children. The psychological problems that occurred with children being separated from their families arose after the First World War, but became more of an issue after World War II. There was complete chaos in Europe with the children being in the center of social and political upheaval.
After World War I, families were separated and there were a lack of resources.… Read the rest here
In Lost Children : Reconstructing Europe’s Families after World War II, Tara Zahra explains the changes in attitudes towards the rehabilitation of children in Europe after the two major world wars. Millions of children were displaced as a result of the Armenian Genocide, World War I, and the Mexican Revolution, and World War II. In order to combat the mass orphanage, organizations such as the ARA (American Relief Association) and the IRO (International Refugee Organization) were created to feed, house, psychologically rehabilitate, and provide welfare to the displaced, wandering new “wolf children” of Europe.… Read the rest here
The introduction and first chapter of Tara Zahra’s Lost Children: Reconstructing Europe’s Families After World War I, presents a fascinating survey of changing attitudes towards children across Europe in the aftermath of the First World War. We learn, thanks to Zahra’s research on four humanitarian crises during the Interwar Period – the Armenian Genocide, the efforts of the American Relief Association in Eastern Europe, the tragedy of refugee families separated from one another in different countries, and the Spanish Civil War- how children came to earn special consideration in response to humanitarian crises and in European peoples’ general understanding of war and violence.… Read the rest here
Dark Continent by Mark Mazower is a historical text which covers the interwar period of Europe in a unique way. The first four chapters each focus on a different aspect of interwar Europe: the decline of democracy, nationalism and the effects it has on minority groups, health and social welfare as a means of control over populations, and the economies of nations. Mazower’s geopolitical coverage of Europe is large; he touches upon other countries in Europe that are usually neglected.… Read the rest here