Cover: The Generation of 1914 in PAPERBACK

The Generation of 1914

Add to Cart

Product Details

PAPERBACK

$38.50 • £30.95 • €34.50

ISBN 9780674344662

Publication Date: 01/01/1979

Short

324 pages

6 x 9 inches

46 halftones

World

The generation of 1914 holds a special place in memory, affection, and myth. In this irresistible and moving book, Robert Wohl rescues it from the shadows of legend and brings it fully into the realm of understanding. He tells the story of the young men—the middle class elite of five European countries: France, Germany, England, Spain, and Italy—to recreate the generational consciousness that united them as well as the unique national experience that made them different.

These were men born at the end of the nineteenth century when the world of reason was disintegrating into a world of irrationality. They were destined to rule but their lives were interrupted by the greatest of wars, leaving them searching for identity and historical continuity. Wohl recaptures this search through novels, poems, autobiographies, memoirs, sociological treatises, philosophical essays, university lectures, political speeches, conversations when recorded, letters, personal notebooks, and newspaper articles. His book is a brilliant study of European mentalities, both collective and individual.

Probing behind ideas to find the experience that inspired them, Wohl illuminates in unexpected ways the origins of World War I and its impact on its participants. His exploration of the consciousness of generational unity and the power of the generational bond enables him to place in a novel context the spread of pessimism and despair, the waning of liberal and humanitarian values, the rise of Communist and Fascist movements, and the sudden eruption of violence in Europe’s progressive countries between the two world wars.

Awards & Accolades

  • 1982 National Book Award, History Paperback Category, National Book Foundation
Loeb Classical Library logo on red background

From Our Blog

9780674238084

Who We Might Have Been, and Who We Will Become

Who among us hasn’t considered what our lives would be like if we had taken alternate paths, made different decisions? Storytellers of every stripe write of the lives we didn’t have, says Andrew H. Miller, author of On Not Being Someone Else: Tales of Our Unled Lives. As we live through a worldwide pandemic, the ideas of what might have been are even more appealing. Much like the adolescents on the verge of adulthood in Sally Rooney’s novel Normal People, Miller tells us, we wait to see what comes next.