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.

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