The Culture of Defeat

On National Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery

Wolfgang Schivelbusch; Translated by Jefferson Chase

Picador

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Focusing on three seminal cases of military defeat--the South after the Civil War, France in the wake of the Franco-Prussian War, and Germany following World War I--Wolfgang Schivelbusch reveals the complex psychological and cultural responses of vanquished nations to the experience of loss on the battlefield. Drawing on reactions from every level of society, Schivelbusch charts the narratives defeated nations construct and finds remarkable similarities across cultures. Eloquently and vibrantly told, The Culture of Defeat is a brilliant and provocative tour de force of history.

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Reviews

Praise for The Culture of Defeat

"It may seem strange, just after an American military victory, to submit to the brooding brilliance of The Culture of Defeat. But that sort of irony is one of the book's points. Schivelbusch incorporates a cautionary note....[into this] wide-ranging...compelling account." --The New York Times

"Inspired...Call him nervy, call him eccentric, but, above all, call Schivelbusch the Clausewitz of defeat...Schivelbusch's anticipation of so many current front-page issues is only one of its many delights." --The Philadelphia Inquirer

"A book of detours, eddies, and fascinating asides...A feast of ideas, many of them strikingly appropriate to our own, bellicose times." --San Francisco Chronicle

"Fresh and provocative...A novel and thought-provoking book, one that deserves special attention at this moment." --Houston Chronicle

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About the Author

Wolfgang Schivelbusch; Translated by Jefferson Chase

Wolfgang Schivelbusch is an independent scholar who lives in New York and Berlin. His books include The Railway Journey, Disenchanted Night, and Tastes of Paradise.

Wolfgang Schivelbusch

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Culture of Defeat
On National Trauma, Mourning, and Recovery
Wolfgang Schivelbusch; Translated by Jefferson Chase

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
April 2004
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312423193
ISBN10: 0312423195
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 416 pages
$21.00

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Henry Holt and Co.
Metropolitan Books
August 2013
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781466851177
ISBN10: 1466851171
416 pages
$7.99
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Picador

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