By any stretch of the imagination Hitler’s rise and fall was extraordinary. He was not an intellectual. He produced no great works of philosophy or art.
The appearance of a paperback version of an important book first published in 1995 is most welcome as it will make it more readily available. Equally, it is not easy to review such a work. The scholarly reviews that appeared noting its contents do not require emendation, because the book has not been rewritten.
This is an admirable feat of constructive compression. It achieves synthesis without sacrificing clarity, a feature that has become one of the author's hallmarks. What makes this book the more impressive is that within small confines it argues so effectively against reductionism in the study of national identity.
How does one define widowhood? In spite of its widespread acceptance, the classic definition of widowhood as the phase of marriage following the death of one of the partners is never entirely satisfactory.
The lack of synthetical treatments of the reign of Charlemagne is both striking and surprising. In spite of the ever-growing volume of academic monographs and articles on the Carolingian period, there is no even vaguely adequate introduction in English, French or German.
It is to be expected that many edited collections of essays will be somewhat disparate in content and approach whatever the overall framework. This volume, however, is even more disparate than most.
The figure of the devadasi, or ‘temple-woman’, who entertained Hindu gods at festivals, hardly needs an introduction. Because of her supposed sexual availability, the devadasi became a potent and notorious symbol of the corruption of Hindu society.