Summer 2006

SOCS 634
Social and Political Transformation: A History of Europe Since 1900


06/26/2006 - 08/10/2006
Monday & Wednesday 09:00 AM - 11:30 AM

Public Affairs Center 421

This course is an interpretive survey of major political, social, economic, and cultural developments from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present. Our analysis will be chronological as we examine the origins of two world wars and the Cold War, the emergence and clash of ideologies antagonistic to democratic political and social values, and widespread social and economic changes after 1945, leading to the apparent stability of democratic regimes in most countries today. It will be thematic in an effort to identify forces and individuals central to Europe's descent into disaster, 1900-1945, and to its remarkable recovery after 1945. In so doing, we will concentrate our attention initially upon these challenges to understanding and interpretation: the crisis of liberal political and social systems on the eves of international conflict, 1900-1914, and 1933-1939; the Russian Revolution of 1917 and its international impact, especially the appeal of Soviet Communism; the extravagant styles and successes of Mussolini and Hitler; and the Second World War with its unprecedented human and material devastation. Our attention then will focus upon ways Europeans recovered their own destinies, chief among which are: the drama of decolonization; France and Germany together at the heart of the assertion of the idea of Europe and the emergence of the European Union; the stability of western European countries as contrasted with the strange collapse of the Soviet Union; and the remaking of eastern Europe. We will conclude with an examination of contemporary issues and problems.

Course readings will include studes such as Robert Paxton, The Anatomy of Fascism; Sheila Fitzpatrick, The Russian Revolution; short biographies of major figures, and documentary materials.

Students will be responsible for two take-home exams.

For an introduction and background information, students may wish to consult one or more of the following books: Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century; Richard Vinen, A History of Fragments: Europe in the Twentieth Century; and Robin Winks and John Talbott, Europe Since 1945.

A syllabus for this course is available at:
Course Syllabus

Nathanael Greene (B.A. Brown University; M.A., Ph.D. Harvard University) is professor of history. He is author of Crisis and Decline: The French Socialist Party in the Popular Front Era (Cornell University Press); From Versailles to Vichy: The Third French Republic, 1919-1940 (Crowell); and is editor of Fascism: An Anthology (Crowell); and European Socialism Since World War I (Quadrangle Books). Click here for more information about Nathanael Greene.


Consent of Instructor Required: No

Format: Seminar

Level: GLSP Credits: 3 Enrollment Limit: 18

Texts to purchase for this course:
Tom Buchanan, EUROPE'S TROUBLED PEACE (Blackwell), Paperback

Charles Cogan, CHARLES DE GAULLE (St. Martin's), Paperback

Robert Paxton, THE ANATOMY OF FASCISM (Knopf), Paperback

Robert Winks, EUROPE, CRISIS AND CONFLICT (Oxford), Paperback


James Joll, THE ORIGINS OF THE FIRST WORLD WAR (Longman), Paperback

Martin Kitchen, EUROPE BETWEEN THE WARS (Blackwell), Paperback

Martin Malia, THE SOVIET TRAGEDY (Simon & Schuster), Paperback

A.J.P. Taylor, THE ORIGINS OF THE 2ND WORLD WAR (Simon & Schuster), Paperback


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