The Postwar Moment

Progressive Forces in Britain, France, and the United States after World War II

Isser Woloch

View Inside Price: $40.00

January 22, 2019
560 pages, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
29 b/w illus.
ISBN: 9780300124354

An incisive, comparative study of the development of Post–World War II progressive politics in the United States, Britain, and France

After the end of World War II, Britain, France, and the United States were faced with two very different choices: return to the civic order of pre-war normalcy or embark instead on a path of progressive transformation. In this ambitious and original work, Isser Woloch assesses the progressive agendas that crystalized in each of the three allied democracies, tracing their roots in the interwar decades, their development during wartime, the struggles to establish them after the war’s end, and the mixed outcome in each country.
A fellow of the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton, Woloch is a highly regarded scholar who adds the United States to a discussion that is usually focused solely on Europe. His enlightening work successfully argues that the postwar moment deserves a more prominent place in the history of progressive politics.

Isser Woloch is the Moore Collegiate Professor Emeritus of History at Columbia University. His books include Napoleon and His Collaborators: The Making of a Dictatorship and The New Regime: Transformations of the French Civic Order, 1789–1820s.

“For decades when it was unpopular to do so for both leftists and liberals alike, Isser Woloch preserved a social democratic interpretation of the French Revolution and its implications for modern history. Today the heritage of that tradition in the middle of the twentieth century seems more relevant than ever, and we are fortunate in the extreme that Woloch’s newest magisterial book reconstructs a progressive moment after World War II in three countries with such finesse and novelty.”— Samuel Moyn, author of Not Enough: Human Rights in an Unequal World

"Written with analytical verve, The Postwar Moment combines unflinching scrutiny with narrative power.  From the riveting opening through its rich national histories and bracing comparative conclusion, this absorbing work reshapes how we understand the fate of progressive and democratic ambitions."—Ira Katznelson, author of Fear Itself: The New Deal and the origins of Our Time

"In this brilliant synthesis, Isser Woloch fulfills the promise of comparative history by illuminating both the similarities and the differences in the way British, French, and American progressives responded to the challenges of the postwar era."—James J. Sheehan, author of Where Have All the Soldiers Gone? The Transformation of Modern Europe