Eliza Ablovatski, Associate Professor of History, has published Revolution and Political Violence in Central Europe: The Deluge 1919, released June 2021 from Cambridge University Press.
Dickens’ Tale of Two Cities famously begins with the paradox, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”; the 1919 revolutions in Central Europe evoked similarly dichotomous interpretations. Dramatic events since the end of the world war seemed poised to transform the world, but the form of that transformation was unclear and violently contested. The political perceptions of contemporaries, framed by gender stereotypes and antisemitism, reveal the sense of living history, of “fighting the world revolution,” that was shared by residents of the two cities. By examining how contemporaries experienced the contradictory “best of times” and “worst of times,” we uncover important information about the worldview and intellectual milieu that came to predominate in both interwar Germany and Hungary, playing an important role in their later national histories of antisemitism and fascism.