Gavriel D. Rosenfeld is a professor of History & Director of the Undergraduate Program in Judaic Studies at Fairfield University, writer, researcher, and author of the book The Fourth Reich.
In his new book, The Fourth Reich: The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Gavriel D. Rosenfeld reveals, for the first time, these postwar nightmares of a future that never happened and explains what they tell us about Western political, intellectual, and cultural life. He shows how postwar German history might have been very different without the fear of the Fourth Reich as a mobilizing idea to combat the right-wing forces that genuinely threatened the country's democratic order. He then explores the universalization of the Fourth Reich by left-wing radicals in the 1960s, its transformation into a source of pop culture entertainment in the 1970s, and its embrace by authoritarian populists and neo-Nazis seeking to attack the European Union since the year 2000. This is a timely analysis of a concept that is increasingly relevant in an era of surging right-wing politics.Gavriel Rosenfeld is Professor of History in Judaic Studies at Fairfield University.Craig Sorvillo is a PhD candidate in modern European history at the University of Florida. He specializes in Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust. He can be reached at craig.sorvillo@gmail.com or on twitter @craig_sorvillo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In his new book, The Fourth Reich: The Specter of Nazism from World War II to the Present (Cambridge University Press, 2019), Gavriel D. Rosenfeld reveals, for the first time, these postwar nightmares of a future that never happened and explains what they tell us about Western political, intellectual, and cultural life. He shows how postwar German history might have been very different without the fear of the Fourth Reich as a mobilizing idea to combat the right-wing forces that genuinely threatened the country's democratic order. He then explores the universalization of the Fourth Reich by left-wing radicals in the 1960s, its transformation into a source of pop culture entertainment in the 1970s, and its embrace by authoritarian populists and neo-Nazis seeking to attack the European Union since the year 2000. This is a timely analysis of a concept that is increasingly relevant in an era of surging right-wing politics.Gavriel Rosenfeld is Professor of History in Judaic Studies at Fairfield University.Craig Sorvillo is a PhD candidate in modern European history at the University of Florida. He specializes in Nazi Germany, and the Holocaust. He can be reached at craig.sorvillo@gmail.com or on twitter @craig_sorvillo. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Gavriel Rosenfeld joins us talk to discuss What Ifs of Jewish History: From Abraham to Zionism, counterfactual history, and the role that history, truth, and fiction play in the public sphere. Purchase What Ifs of Jewish History Read the introduction to What Ifs of Jewish History Other counterfactual books (both scholarly and popular), TV shows, and movies discussed: Philip Roth, The Plot Against America (2005) Michael Chabon, The Yiddish Policeman’s Union (2007) Quentin Tarantino, Inglourious Basterds (2009) Stephen King’s 11/22/63 (2011) and the Hulu TV show (2016) Robert Harris, Fatherland (1992) and the HBO movie (1994) Ben Winters, Underground Airlines (2016) Richard Ned Lubow, Archduke Franz Ferdinand Lives!: A World without World War I (2014) Cyril M. Kornbluth, “Two Dooms” (1958), in His Share of Glory HBO’s proposed (and scrapped) show, “Confederate” ‘Game of Thrones’ Creators Land New Series at HBO (Variety) The Producers of HBO’s Confederate Respond to the Backlash and Explain Why They Wanted to Tell This Story (Vulture) Sean O’Neil, “Can we just stop fantasizing about the South winning the Civil War?” (AV Club) Bree Newsome, “We don’t need a TV show about the Confederacy winning. In many ways, it did.” (Washington Post) Gavriel Rosenfeld, “In Defense of HBO’s Counterfactual ‘Confederate,'” The Conversation, Sept. 2017 “Why HBO’s Planned ‘Confederate’ Series Alarms Some Historians” Scholarly works Peter J. Bowler, Darwin Deleted: Imagining a World Without Darwin (2013) Jeffrey Gurock, The Holocaust Averted: An Alternate History of American Jewry, 1938–1967 (2015) Noam Pianko, Zionism and the Roads Not Taken: Rawidowicz, Kaplan, Kohn (2010) What would America be like without immigrants? Counterfactual history and debates about immigration Paul Krugman, “Know-Nothings for the 21st Century,” NYT, Jan. 2018 Bret Stephens, “A Modest Immigration Proposal: Ban Jews,” NYT, Jan. 2018 Gavriel Rosenfeld, “Bret Stephens Counterfactually Channels Hugo Bettauer: America Without Jews,” Counterfactual History Review, Jan. 2018 Relevant books and ideas mentioned about the question of Jewish historians and counterfactual history: Yosef Hayim Yerushalmi, Zakhor (1982) David N. Myers, Re-Inventing the Jewish Past: European Jewish Historians and the Zionist Return to History (1995) Wissenschaft des Judentums Heinrich Graetz (1817–1891) Other theoretical issues relating to debates about history and narrative: Hayden White, Metahistory: The Historical Imagination in Nineteenth-century Europe (1973) and The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation (1990) Robert Bernasconi on Jacques Derrida’s concept of supplementarity
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Creator Details

Episode Count
3
Podcast Count
3
Total Airtime
2 hours, 41 minutes