Alex Danchev

The Road To War

The Triumph of the Dark: European International History 1933–1939


Oxford University Press 1,130pp £35 order from our bookshop

The Triumph of the Dark is the sequel to The Lights that Failed (2005), which covered the period from 1919 to 1933: together they are a whopping 2,000 pages long. The author clearly sees the two volumes as a single whole, and has written them as such; she herself observes that the concluding section of the first, a recapitulation of what she calls ‘The Hinge Years’, is the necessary introduction to the second. If an abridged version is ever published, it is tempting to suggest that Steiner’s magisterial essays, ‘Europe Reconstructed?’ (1918–29), ‘The Hinge Years’ (1929–33), and the conclusion of this volume, which might be called ‘Slouching Towards Berchtesgarten, or The Second Hecatomb’ (1933–39), should be brought together as the Steiner interpretation.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • With our February issue about to go to press, enjoy a slice of LR history - Hilary Mantel on Joan Haslip's biograph… ,
    • What did London look like in the 6th Century? Rory Naismith's 'Citadel of the Saxons' tries to answer that questi… ,
    • Start your week with a dose of Russian Revolutionary zeal. Donald Rayfield reviews Tobie Mathew's 'Greetings From t… ,
    • A treat from the LR Archive: exactly 20 years ago, Malcolm Bradbury reviewed John Updike's 'Bech at Bay' ,
    • ‘When bullets come close, the noise they make as they go past changes from a zing to a crack’ John Lanchester's dy… ,
    • Man with a Bloody Paintbrush: Robin Simon on Lucian Freud ,
    • Jane Ridley reviews The Diaries of Kenneth Rose (ed. D R Thorpe) ,