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Rites of Spring: The Great War and The Birth of the Modern Age - Book Report/Review Example

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“Rites of Spring, the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age” Student enter the Name and Code Number University or College Name of Professor 27th February, 2012. 1. Introduction: As we all know that war is to call for battle and it is related to something which does not add to the growth of any country or nation…
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Rites of Spring: The Great War and The Birth of the Modern Age
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"Rites of Spring: The Great War and The Birth of the Modern Age"

Download file to see previous pages This certainly is not a good thing and, therefore, should be discouraged and communication should be promoted to avoid such issues. For the last many decades, the concept of modernism has fascinated historians, writers and philosophers. They have tried to probe all the aspects of this thought and how it emerged over the times. Modris Eksteins is one of the writers who wrote a book on this topic and titled ?Rites of Spring, the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age?. According to his thesis, the modernist views in the world, especially Germany, led to the outbreak of the First World War. Although the war ended with Germany’s defeat on the battlefield yet it resulted in the victory of its modernist tendencies and spirit. Eksteins (2000) uses the 1913 Russian ballet ?The Rites of Spring? as a metaphor for the war and the coming world order. According to Eksteins (2000, pp. xvi), the title of the book is tailored with the finest elements of history and is based on a ballet which is all about “movement”. This book is all about movement. Times change from good to bad and the journey of history the reader gets mesmerized by the detailed visualization of the war by the writer. Eksteins (2000, pp. xvi) states that one has to feel the misery and the emotions with full depth to understand the importance of Great War. The book begins with explanation of Venice. Eksteins states that Richard Wagner grasped motivation for the first opera of his which was full of emotions including grief, love, hatred and slaughter (1). In fact, the author tries to highlight the psychological condition of the people during war time. He elaborates how the trauma of war and the distressing recollections of horrible and brutal atrocities affect people. Eksteins’ (2000) analysis of the First World War focuses particularly on the attitudes and ideas expressed by common people in the lead-up to the war, as well as throughout the duration of the warfare period. This analysis is based on two cultural events: Lindbergh’s triumphal reception after his transatlantic flight, and the success of Remarque’s book ?All Quiet on the Western Front?. Being a Latvian whose family suffered at the hands of Germans in the Second World War, Eksteins (2000) is naturally interested in Germany and the Nazis. On the other hand, his education and linguistic skills might have contributed to him focusing almost exclusively on the zeitgeist of Western Europe, while ignoring the effects that the war had on the larger world. As a cultural historian, he tends to skip the economic and political dimensions of the war and its causes. He follows a literary approach while examining the history of the war. The present review essay tends to critically analyze Eksteins’ (2000) book which includes three things: the origins of the Great War and the birth of modernism; the brutal actions during the war and lastly, the aftermath of the war which was manifested through the emergence of the ideologies of Fascism and Nazism. 2. Rites of Spring, the Great War and the Birth of the Modern Age: Eksteins (2000) starts his book by arguing that the First World War began as a clash between two great cultural ideas. One was the conservative culture based on Enlightenment and Romantic ideals and represented mainly by England and France (Eksteins 49). The other was the modernist culture represented by Germany (Eksteins 2000). It was based on estheticism and emancipation from the ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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