Richard Overy

The Terrors of Totalitarianism

Hope and Memory: Reflections on the Twentieth Century


Atlantic Books 337pp £22 order from our bookshop

THIS IS NOT the first book, by any means, that sets due to answer the riddle of the twentieth century: How was it possible, in an age that prided itself on social progress and scientific advance, that Europe could be plunged into total war twice and spawn totalitarian regimes bloodier than any other in history? Not the first, but almost certainly one of the most challenging. After reading this provocative and supremely intelligent explanation, the paradoxes of the last century start to become comprehensible.

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • 'I was dumbfounded by the view of the Berlin Wall from the eastern side. It seemed inconceivable that in under thre… ,
    • RT : Danger for ‘local’ staff, access in exchange for silence (and logos) - all sounds familiar in this fascinating look… ,
    • 'He has long been eclipsed by Vermeer, though his interiors are arguably more ambitious.' David Gelber on the Dutc… ,
    • 'The wicked are truly revolting and the rage is wholly understandable' on new thrillers by John Le… ,
    • In @aaciman's sequel to 'Call Me By Your Name', 'Erotic urgency has merged with middle age’s frugality of heart', s… ,
    • 'The repression of free speech in Uganda is common. Reporters Without Borders’ 2019 Press Freedom Index ranks Ugand… ,
    • RT : The Topeka School is out today! I reviewed it for and I'm psyched to see him talking at the Tate tonigh… ,