The University of Wisconsin Press | Fall 2013 - page 23

“A perceptive new analysis that encompasses the broad range of Mosse’s
work. The most thorough study on the historian that has been done.”
—Stanley G. Payne, Series Editor
A taboo-breaker and a great provocateur, George L. Mosse (1918–99) was one
of the great historians of the twentieth century, forging a new historiography of
culture that included brilliant insights about the roles of nationalism, fascism,
racism, and sexuality. Jewish, gay, and a member of a culturally elite family in
Germany, Mosse came of age as the Nazis came to power, before escaping as a
teenager to England and America. Mosse was innovative and interdisciplinary as
a scholar, and he shattered in his groundbreaking books prevalent assumptions
about the nature of National Socialism and the Holocaust. He audaciously drew
a link from bourgeois respectability and the ideology of the Enlightenment—
the very core of modern Western civilization—to the extermination of the
European Jews.
In this intellectual biography of George Mosse, Karel Plessini draws on all of
Mosse’s published and unpublished work to illuminate the origins and develop-
ment of his groundbreaking methods of historical analysis and the close link
between his life and work. He redefined the understanding of modern mass soci-
ety and politics, masterfully revealing the powerful influence of conformity and
political liturgies on twentieth-century history. Mosse warned against the dangers
inherent in acquiescence, showing how identity creation and ideological fervor
can climax in intolerance and mass murder—a message of continuing relevance.
Karel Plessini
has been a fellow of the Institut für Europäische Geschichte in
Mainz, Germany, and a George L. Mosse Visiting Scholar at the University of
 LC: 2013015053 D
280 PP. 6 × 9
E-BOOK $24.95 S ISBN 978-0-299-29633-9
George L. Mosse Series in
Modern European Cultural
and Intellectual History
Stanley G. Payne, David J. Sorkin, and
John S. Tortorice, Series Editors
Of re l at ed int e re s t
George L. Mosse
“For the sanity of the human race it is
essential that the record of Hitler’s Ger-
many should remain alive and be retold
again and again as a warning for the
future. Professor Mosse’s book helps keep
the record alive.”—
Saturday Review
LC: 2003045827 DD 456 PP. 5 ½ × 8
George L. Mosse Series in
Modern European Cultural
and Intellectual History
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