, critically acclaimed historian Philipp Blom argues that in the aftermath of the First World War, citizens of the West directed their energies inwards, launching into hedonistic, aesthetic and intellectual adventures of self-discovery. It was a period of both bitter disillusionment and visionary progress.
From Fritz Lang’s Metropolis to theoretical physics, and from Art Deco to Jazz and the Charleston dance, artists, scientists and philosophers grappled with the question of how to live and what to believe in a broken age. Morbid symptoms emerged simultaneously from the decay of the First World War: progress and innovation were everywhere met with increasing racism and xenophobia. On both sides of the Atlantic, disenchanted voters flocked to Communism and fascism, forming political parties based on violence and revenge that presaged the horror of a new World War.
Vividly recreating this era of unparalleled ambition, artistry and innovation, Blom captures the seismic shifts that defined the interwar period and continue to shape our world today.