“The Great War,” as Modris Eksteins writes, “was the psychological turning point. .. for RITES OF SPRING is a remarkable and rare work, a cultural history that. “Ingenious and maddening”: thus many critics label Modris Eksteins’s *Review essay of Modris Eksteins, Rites of Spring: The Great War at the Birth of the. Rites of Spring The Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age By Modris Eksteins Illustrated. pages. A Peter Davison Book/Houghton.

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Get fast, free shipping with Amazon Prime. The First World War is without a doubt the catalyst which has changed our world forever.

Jun 29, Kris rated it really liked it Shelves: But this gites somewhat lost me in the the Rites of Spring ballet anticipating all of that, and further lost me with the Lindbergh flight as a post war benchmark. Were the rulers of Europe as weak and ineffectual as to give in to the demands of the crowds, if there had not been strong economic and political reasons for the war?

Presenting events, roughly in chronological order, he tells a cultural history from the days leading up to World War One to the beginnings of World War Two.

Basic materials have their own authenticity; let them speak honestly for themselves, without melody, without ornamentation, without plot. Modris Ekstein is a professor of history at the University of Toronto’s Scarborough campus. I think Pau I struggled to get through this book and was disappointed.

The Rites of Spring – All Empires

Aug 30, Megan rated it really liked it Shelves: Learn more about Amazon Giveaway. I appreciated the fact that I didn’t have to be a WWI scholar to follow what was happening. Apr 03, Charles Phillips rated it liked it. But after the war dragged on for a while, the propaganda machines and the general brutality of it started to modify the mutual perceptions of the combatants. Just what kept men in the horrible conditions of the trench system of the Western Front for years? Without the war, the Russian people would have never successfully revolted against the tsarist regime, and Lenin would never have been transported to Russia by the Germans.


From here it also seems to me, that the logical, even inevitable, consequence of the Nazi’s attempted ressurection of prewar values, i. Scientism, efficiency, management, expertise, technique. His aesthetic style, fleeting comparisons and iconoclastic conclusions not only mimics the modes of his subjects, but engages the interest of the reader in a manner paralleled only by authors of fiction.

If you are uncomfortable reading descriptive accounts of the gore and raw violence of war, I would read with caution. British traditionalism is one of his interesting kernels of cultural history worthy of consideration.

Ellis describes the disorientation and despair of indigenous peoples before the seeming invincibility of European firepower, especially machine guns, mere handfuls of which, in battle after battle, mowed down thousands of spear- and club-armed native warriors. Before the war the avant-garde had adopted modernism as a rebellion against bourgeois conformity and sterility.

The Rites of Spring

Inactive contemplation appeared devious, calculated, dishonest, crooked. This a wild, nonsensical theory made credible and charming by Ekstein’s elegant style and enormous erudition. In fact, Eksteins describes in equally vivid detail how the war devolved into a dehumanizing brutality.

I think the idea that World War 1 was the defining point for the end of the Victorian age and the start of Modernism is valid and an inherently interesting subject. His answers, executed in brilliantly descriptive eksteisn readable prose, embrace a contextual totality rarely achieved in a manageable monograph.


And this author’s flipping back and forth is confusing and pointless, and his insights into the background of WWI are annoyingly shallow. Eksteins does not even mention them, which can be problematic because sspring to his thesis is the fact that the war changed the world, and, yet, he ignores half of it.

Mar 07, Kathy rated it it was amazing. Sppring 09, James rated it really liked it Shelves: For instance, during the Maji-Maji revolt against German rule, in current-day Tanzania ot8, warriors from three different tribes, convinced that under a spell the machine gun bullets would turn to water, repeatedly charged a German fort and were slaughtered. As a cultural historian, he tends to skip the economic and political dimension of the war and its causes, which would be fine, given the scope of his work, except that he attempts to make the war seem as an inevitable clash between the two systems of ideas, and the spirit of the mobs, the determinant factor in starting the war.


Indian soldiers fighting on the side of the British and African troops fighting on the side of the French had the irtes to fraternize and feel equal to European soldiers during a war which did not discriminate [38].

In Rites of Spring, Ecksteins argues that fascism represented the ultimate manifestation of the “modern” nation-state. The British, in response, felt that they had a riets to protect the old world order: Read reviews that mention rites of spring world war great war modris eksteins cultural history twentieth century western front paul fussell modern age thought provoking early 20th century make sense changed the way ever read stravinsky rites cultural and historical anyone interested modern memory century ritez turn of the 20th century.

My only complaint, a complaint that grew more vocal as I read through these pages: Nazism, like kitsch, masqueraded as life; the reality of both was death. Eksteins strikes the right or between supplying general information and counting on the reader to have a little background on the subject; he writes with both the rigor of psring and the accessibility of popular history.

The book unveils a pre-war world of German industrialization and avant-garde art, discusses the disillusionment of an unending first world war, and climaxes with the resultant rise of Nazi regime. But perhaps none have summed it up better. Eksteins describes the post-WWI modern culture as follows:

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