A World on Edge: The End of the Great War and the Dawn of a New Age


Book Information

  • ISBN: 9781509818518
  • Format: Paperback
  • Pub Date: 14/05/2019
  • Category: Humanities / General & world history
    Humanities / History: specific events & topics
    Humanities / First World War
    Humanities / 20th century history: c 1900 to c 2000
  • Imprint: Picador
  • Pages: 352
  • Price: $19.99

A World on Edge reveals Europe in 1918, left in ruins by World War I. But with the end of hostilities, a radical new start seems not only possible, but essential, even unavoidable. Unorthodox ideas light up the age like the comets that have recently passed overhead: new politics, new societies, new art and culture, new thinking. The struggle to determine the future has begun.

The sculptor Käthe Kollwitz, whose son died in the war, was translating sorrow and loss into art. Ho Chi Minh was working as a dishwasher in Paris and dreaming of liberating Vietnam, his homeland. Captain Harry S. Truman was running a men's haberdashery in Kansas City, hardly expecting that he was about to go bankrupt - and later become president of the United States. Professor Moina Michael was about to invent the 'remembrance poppy', a symbol of sacrifice that will stand for generations to come. Meanwhile Virginia Woolf had just published her first book and was questioning whether that sacrifice was worth it, while the artist George Grosz was so revolted by the violence on the streets of Berlin that he decides everything is meaningless. For rulers and revolutionaries, a world of power and privilege was dying - while for others, a dream of overthrowing democracy was being born.

Author Information

Dr Daniel Schönpflug was born in 1969, and is a guest lecturer at the Free University, Berlin, and the academic coordinator at the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (WIKO). He specializes in European history from the eighteenth to the twentieth centuries, focusing on social and cultural history. Alongside his research, teaching and academic management work, he has also been successful in bringing history to a wider public and has co-authored scripts for docu-dramas broadcast on German national television, as well as writing A World on Edge.