Richard Overy

The Terrors of Totalitarianism

Hope and Memory: Reflections on the Twentieth Century

By

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

    • 'It would be nice to think that women will achieve equal pay in my lifetime, rather than to watch gloomily as stati… ,
    • In 1660, two of the signatories of King Charles I's death warrant fled across the Atlantic to New England. But were… ,
    • Howard Jacobson's sixteenth novel is 'a love story of sorts, one characterised not by physical desire or even conta… ,
    • 'The sudden immersion in the new and unfamiliar can lead people to write with a rare lack of self-consciousness' P… ,
    • 'Pools bend the rules. Clothes slip off, skin glistens, consciousness heightens. A dreamlike scenario unfolds' Jam… ,
    • 'Although he surely didn’t know W H Auden’s theory that every high C proclaims human freedom and our capacity to tr… ,
    • RT : With beginning tomorrow, we've uncovered a 1997 article from the archive reviewing 'Golf Dream… ,