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Europe in Crisis: Intellectuals and the European Idea, 1917-1957

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Europe in Crisis

Intellectuals and the European Idea, 1917-1957

Edited by Mark Hewitson and Matthew D'Auria

360 pages, 15 maps & illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-0-85745-727-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (October 2012)

ISBN  978-1-78238-924-8 $34.95/£27.95 Pb Published (June 2015)

eISBN 978-0-85745-728-8 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $34.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


Overall…this collection offers a broad spectrum of intellectual historical research on Europe. It therefore does not only appeal to historians who are working on the history of images of Europe specially in the first half of the 20th century but also to all those who are interested in approaches and methods of Anglo-American intellectual historians.”  ·  H-Soz-u-Kult

“…this unusually structured volume guides the reader to a number of promising and under-explored avenues in the field of European integration studies.”  ·  English Historical Review

“One of the strengths of the volume is the conscious effort to pay close attention to the different debates and shifting discourses about Europe on their own terms over just a few decades…The absence of a one-size-fits-all analytical straightjacket allows the individual contributors to assess how these different ideas of Europe changed over time in myriad ways. By combining investigations of individuals with group portraits, the volume also makes certain features of the Europeanists stand out more clearly…[It] serves as a useful reminder that Europe during these 40 years, was a continent suspended between ancient roots and new beginnings.”  ·  European Review of History: Revue europeenne d'histoire

“The contributions are of a high standard. In almost all cases there was much that is new and interesting. There is more than enough substance, interest and range for this to be an effective contribution.”  ·  Peter Stirk, Durham University

“An excellent introduction to the history of the concept of ‘Europe’ that preceded the founding of the European Community in 1957. Spanning a wide range of authors and topics, it is essential reading for anyone interested in the intellectual history of European integration.”  ·  Egbert Klautke, University College London


The period between 1917 and 1957, starting with the birth of the USSR and the American intervention in the First World War and ending with the Treaty of Rome, is of the utmost importance for contextualizing and understanding the intellectual origins of the European Community. During this time of 'crisis,' many contemporaries, especially intellectuals, felt they faced a momentous decision which could bring about a radically different future. The understanding of what Europe was and what it should be was questioned in a profound way, forcing Europeans to react. The idea of a specifically European unity finally became, at least for some, a feasible project, not only to avoid another war but to avoid the destruction of the idea of European unity. This volume reassesses the relationship between ideas of Europe and the European project and reconsiders the impact of long and short-term political transformations on assumptions about the continent’s scope, nature, role and significance.

Mark Hewitson is Professor of German History and Politics and Director of European Social and Political Studies at University College London.

Matthew D’Auria is Lecturer of Modern European History at the University of East Anglia.

Subject: History (General)
Area: Europe


List of Maps and Figures

Introduction: Europe during the Forty Years’ Crisis


Chapter 1. The United States of Europe: The European Question in the 1920s
Mark Hewitson

Chapter 2. Europe and the Fate of the World: Crisis and Integration in the Late 1940s and 1950s
Mark Hewitson

Chapter 3. Inventing Europe and Reinventing the Nation-State in a New World Order
Mark Hewitson


Chapter 4. Richard Nikolaus Coudenhove-Kalergi, Founder of the Pan-European Union, and the Birth of a ‘New’ Europe
Anita Prettenthaler-Ziegerhofer

Chapter 5. Noble Continent? German-Speaking Nobles as Theorists of European Identity in the Interwar Period
Dina Gusejnova

Chapter 6. Imperium Europaeum: Rudolf Pannwitz and the German Idea of Europe
Jan Vermeiren

Chapter 7. New Middle Ages or New Modernity? Carl Schmitt’s Interwar Perspective on Political Unity in Europe
Ionut Untea

Chapter 8. Rosenzweig, Schmitt and the Concept of Europe
Vittorio Cotesta

Chapter 9. From Centre to Province: Changing Images of Europe in the Writings of Jerzy Stempowski
Łukasz Mikołajewski


Chapter 10. Visualizing Europe from 1900 to the 1950s: Identity on the Move
Michael Wintle

Chapter 11. Europe and the Artistic Patrimony of the Interwar Period: The International Institute of Intellectual Cooperation at the League of Nations
Annamaria Ducci

Chapter 12. Huizinga, Intellectual Cooperation and the Spirit of Europe, 1933–1945
Anne-Isabelle Richard

Chapter 13. The Idea of European Unity in Heinrich Mann’s Political Essays of the 1920s and Early 1930s
Ernest Schonfield

Chapter 14. Lucien Febvre and the Idea of Europe
Vittorio Dini


Chapter 15. Junius and the ‘President Professor’: Luigi Einaudi’s European Federalism
Matthew D’Auria

Chapter 16. Federate or Perish: The Continuity and Persistence of the Federal Idea in Europe, 1917–1957
Michael Burgess

Conclusion: Europe between a Crisis of Culture and Political Regeneration

Notes on Contributors
Select Bibliography

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