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    One step forwards, two steps back

    Leslie, Esther (2000) One step forwards, two steps back. In: Flett, K. and Renton, D. (eds.) The Twentieth Century, A Century of Wars and Revolutions? London, UK: Rivers Oram Press, pp. 33-53. ISBN 9781854891266.

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    Book synopsis: How should we understand the twentieth century? Some writers have responded to the past by lapsing into deep historical pessimism, for this was the century of genocide, of Hitler and Stalin, the most brutal and bloody era of human history. Others look for signs of human progress, in the advance of women's rights, the development of science, and the decolonization of the Third World. The approach of this book is different. The authors take their cue from Rosa Luxemburg's famous prediction that this would be the century of "socialism or barbarism." One possibility, she believed, was that the world would experience years of colonial plunder, misery and war. Alternatively, a different system would emerge, based on planning and collective discussion, and putting human needs before profit. From the perspective of these essays, Rosa Luxemburg's choice has not yet been decided, and the last hundred years have witnessed both human progress and human retreat, an uneasy combination of reaction and reform. Individual essays address key questions for historians of the twentieth century, including: Did women's condition improve? Why were hopes of transformation thrown away? What is globalization and when did it begin?


    Item Type: Book Section
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Science > School of Natural Sciences
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 02 Jul 2018 13:32
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:42


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