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The Italian educator and physician Maria Montessori (1870–1952) is best known for the teaching method that bears her name. She was also a lifelong pacifist, although historians tend to consider her writings on this topic as secondary to her pedagogy. In The Best Weapon for Peace, Erica Moretti reframes Montessori’s pacifism as the foundation for her educational activism, emphasizing her vision of the classroom as a gateway to reshaping society. Montessori education offers a child-centered learning environment that cultivates students’ development as peaceful, curious, and resilient adults opposed to war and invested in societal reform.
“This volume reframes the life and work of Maria Montessori within the context of international peace studies. She deserves recognition as a pioneer who faced gender barriers and nevertheless almost won the Nobel Peace Prize. Moretti gracefully weaves portraits of historical topics into this narrative of Montessori’s intellectual life.”
– Mary Gibson, CUNY
New Mosse Series book in August!
Respectability and Violence traces the relationship between civic virtues and military values from the post-Risorgimento period through the end of World War I, when the trauma of trench warfare made it necessary to again redefine ideas of chivalry and manliness and to accept violence as a necessary tool in defense of society and state. The language of conflict and attitudes about war forged in these decades—characterized by patriotism, heroism, and sacrifice—shaped the cultured bourgeoise into loyalists who ushered in Italy’s transition to a powerful Fascist political system. This unique study of the officer is crucial for understanding the military, social, and political history of Italy.
“A valuable and irreplaceable contribution to the study of Italian society at the turn of the twentieth century.”
—Storia e futuro
In this George L. Mosse Program Oral History, listen to James Hilb discuss his parents leaving Nazi Germany, growing up in Cincinnati, the 1960s at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, meeting George L. Mosse while introducing himself to Henry Kissinger, how Germany remembers the Holocaust, and the importance of studying history:
In this episode of “Confronting History,” we discuss with Professor Monica Black her new book, A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post-WWII Germany (Metropolitan Books, 2020).
The third volume in the Collected Works of George L. Mosse is now available for purchase: The Crisis of German Ideology: Intellectual Origins of the Third Reich. Pick up a copy today!
“Mosse has convincingly depicted the combination of the racist idea with nationalism, theosophy, social reform, the youth movement, and agrarianism and their tie to the politics of the Right in Germany…[he] has dredged through the cultural muck of völkisch literature and produced an invaluable guide for any future explorations in this field.”
– Journal of Modern History
New on the Mosse Blog:
- Read Conrad Allen’s review of Mary Louise Roberts’s Sheer Misery: Soldiers in Battle in WWII.
- Read James C. Ungureanu’s review of Moshe Sluhovsky’s Becoming a New Self: Practices and Beliefs in Early Modern Catholicism.
- Read Kathryn Julian’s review of Monica Black’s A Demon-Haunted Land: Witches, Wonder Doctors, and the Ghosts of the Past in Post–WWII Germany.
- Read Takumi Satō’s, Afterword to the Japanese Edition of Mosse’s Nationalization of the Masses.
- Read Manuela Consonni’s review of John and Anne Tedeschi’s Italian Jews Under Fascism, 1938-1945, A Personal and Historical Narrative.
- Read Noelle Turtur’s review of Victoria da Grazia’s The Perfect Fascist: A Story of Love, Power, and Morality in Mussolini’s Italy.
- Read Isobel Ashby’s review of Dan Royles’s To Make the Wounded Whole: The African American Struggle Against HIV/AIDS.
- Read Adam Blackler’s review of Sean Wempe’s Revenants of the German Empire: Colonial Germans, Imperialism & the League of Nations.
- Read Max Lazar’s review of Robert Gellately’s Hitler’s True Believers: How Ordinary People Became Nazis.
- Read Spencer J. Weinreich’s review of Tamar Herzig’s A Convert’s Tale: Art, Crime, and Jewish Apostasy in Renaissance Italy.
- Read Eric Kurlander’s review of Anson Rabinbach‘s Staging the Third Reich: Essays in Cultural and Intellectual History.
- Read Matthew Unangst’s review of Marie Muschalek‘s Violence as Usual: Policing and the Colonial State in German Southwest Africa.
New from the Mosseaner:
Read Chad Gibbs’s Newsweek article “Advice About the End of the Pandemic, From a Combat Veteran” (16 February 2021).
Read Chad Gibbs’s Fortunoff Video Archive post, “What they Tell: Treblinka Survivor and Witness Voices in the Fortunoff Archive.”
Read Omri Shafer-Raviv’s The Forum for Regional Thinking article “המלחמה הדמוגרפית של ישראל בעזה” (16 February 2021).
Read the H-Diplo roundtable on Till van Rahden’s Demokratie: eine gefährdete Lebensform (New York: Campus, 2019)
Read Cindy Schweich Handler’s “We can hope history won’t repeat itself — but Fritz Oppenheimer’s experience is a warning,” in NorthJersey.
Read Torsten Fluh’s “Von der Fiktionalität der Epidemie” on Night Out@Berlin.
Congratulations Tamar Herzig on winning the Dorothy Rosenberg Prize for the history of the Jewish diaspora for her new book A Convert’s Tale: Art, Crime and Jewish Apostasy in Renaissance Italy (Harvard, 2019).
Congratulations David Warren Sabean for receiving the AHA Award for Scholarly Distinction.
Read Sara Brinegar’s Holocaust Forced Labor teaching resource at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Read Abigail Lewis’s H-Diplo review of Lara R. Curtis, Writing Resistance and the Question of Gender (17 September 2020).
Read Chad Gibbs’s opinion piece “China is Perpetuating Genocide: We’ve Seen This Before,” in Forward (22 July 2020).
Read Ethan Katz’s and Deborah Lipstadt’s opinion piece “Far more unites Black and Jewish Americans than divides them,” on CNN (18 July 2020).
Read John D. Wilsey’s Christianity Today review of Daniel G. Hummel’s book Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019).
Read Walker Robins’s H-Net review of Daniel G. Hummel’s book Covenant Brothers: Evangelicals, Jews, and U.S.-Israeli Relations (Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2019).
Read Arie Dubnov’s Ha’aretz article about the life of George Steiner: “What if Mossad Agents Had Caught Hitler in the Amazon Rain Forest?”
Read Mosse Exchange Fellow Abby Lewis’ review of Sara Blair’s new book How the Other Half Looks: The Lower East Side and the Afterlives of Images (Princeton University Press, 2018).
Listen to Professor David Sorkin discuss his new book, Jewish Emancipation: A History Across Five Centuries (Princeton University Press, 2019).
Medaon put out an article by Dieter Langewiesche, “Bildungsliberalismus und deutsches Judentum. Historische Reflexionen auf den Spuren von George L. Mosse.”
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