“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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Not only did many Germans seek out a kind of Nietzschean transvalutation of values, but they saw this as inseparable from their rittes modes of warfare, especially toxic gas and submarine technology, which they saw as attempts to assert the superiority of the German Kf.

Act II — An analysis of a fundamental shift in the perception of the Great War by the soldiers, and eventually by the civilian segments of the belligerent nations. What is notable about this book is that it was rather irreverent to the established morality, and, most importantly, the fact that it presented the war as a nihilistic slaughter [33].

Sep 14, Ai Miller rated it really liked it Shelves: One has to applaud Ekstein for rtes the public’s attention to the work of Eksteihs Maria Remarque who is slowly slipping out the public’s conscience. A book to be read and reread. Soldiers started to feel that those at home did not understand them anymore [23], and some of them started to exhibit unusual paradoxical behavior: There are some good sections on art and aesthetics but Eksteins expends much energy trying to tie this into political matters.

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. True, Germany had, indeed, lost the war, but the German people felt that they had been winning all along.


Thus, whilst the European powers were repairing and rebuilding, a Nietzschean-seasoned idealism, o to the German nation now brought low, spread its tendrils deep into the cultural and societal fields of the alleged victors. I am still pondering rite ongoing connection between societal change that could simultaneously create the environment where such important musical and artistic developments could happen, while also being the same breeding ground for devastating war.

The modern impulse before the war had possessed a strong measure of optimism, springing from a bourgeois religion of meliorism. But for now, I did not find the book interesting in the way that Fussell’s was, and if there is a”thesis” to the book, it was difficult to find.


The End of the European Era: Also holds the disctinction of being a new angle on the war, back in the zpring.

RITES OF SPRING: The Great War and the Birth of th by Modris Eksteins | Kirkus Reviews

The facts, kf, indicate that the demonstrations were less violent than these witnesses would have us believe. View all 13 comments. The Great War shattered the old verities and led to a general rejection rited accepted values.

The aura of invincibility and infallibility that Europeans possessed was now gone. Eksteins produces the trans-Atlantic flight of Charles Lindbergh as a triumph of the heroic amongst the Europeans who had long been absent of such a victorious feeling against the grinning spectre from the trenches; and follows it with the publication of All Quiet on the Western Frontthe best-selling war memoir of Remarque which seemingly exemplified a frustrated romanticism that burned within the Germans, who felt they had given their all for the glorious Krieg which had not only failed them, but betrayed them in the end.

There was no Germany until Freedom had become a personal matter, a responsibility above all to oneself.

The Rites of Spring – All Empires

But so are socialist ideas, a revived religion and the sense that other societies are just as advanced as the Western Civilization. The appeal was strictly to emotion.

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 europe turn of the 20th century.

The emancipation that Eksteins focuses on is not solely the result of the German spirit that demanded emancipation, but rather the result of our society losing confidence in itself and being forced to accept new or old ideaslifestyles and values as being equally valid with those of the Enlightenment, which constituted the bedrock of society throughout the 19th century.

Eksteins goes as far as suggesting that the emancipation of homosexuals in Germany was symptomatic of this spirit of emancipation ritea rebellion [14].

In fact, Eksteins describes in equally vivid detail how the war devolved into a dehumanizing brutality. His thesis that the First World War has changed our society forever and rits Germany was the modernist nation par excellence, which served as a model for our world, holds some merit. Don’t have a Kindle? Only an audience could give Hitler meaning; he had none himself.

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Rites of Spring is a fascinating look into the cultural tensions emerging in Europe in the years leading up to the outbreak of the First World War. In “Rites of Spring,” Modris Ecksteins argues that it’s actually the other way around. Anyone finding it on the reading list of a course they are enrolled in.

That optimism had not disappeared entirely by the twenties, but it was now more wish than confident prediction.

Fussell’s Great War is a big collection of data put together to make sense of a senseless war. There are a lot of other bits I am tempted to quote, but they are bits from other sources that Ekssteins used in his well-documented research.

There is a vast amount of research synthesized here, from diaries from soldiers on the front to accounts in the newspapers though I wondered if these individual takes represented the zeitgeist as fully as Eksteins would like.

In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. This a wild, nonsensical theory made credible and charming by Ekstein’s elegant style and enormous erudition.

Set up a giveaway. Please try again later. I had assigned some readings exploring how the modern West has responded to political, economic, and social changes through conflicts over sexuality and gender roles. The scope here is comprehensive, looking at art, literature, military organization and strategy, and even, most fascinatingly, the weather, which, he argues very convincingly, mattered a great deal in Only this particular guy fails to say “oh shoot, I just dreamed this, so it’s probably worth nothing in the real world.

Disorienting, transient, discordant energies unleashed a quest for both titanism and the titanic. Eksteins argues convincingly that supporters of the avant-garde went to the premiere expecting a scandal and did everything possible to promote the idea that a scandal had occurred. I hold this book in very high esteem, not only because it is very well-written, but because it forced me to completely revise my understanding of twentieth century nation-states.

Don’t try selling this idea on any undergraduate history term paper however.