Geschichten eines Tabus

Carl Hanser Verlag, München 2019, 112 pages
ISBN: 978-3-446-26228-7

Is the West on the retreat? A defeat is tragic, but a retreat shameful: Wolfgang Schivelbusch examines a taboo.
The fact that things always move forward is one of the convictions of modernity: withdrawal is not planned. And yet the West - since the end of the colonial empires and the rise of China - has been on the retreat. But it avoids this word. Rather one speaks of an »exit strategy« or of »globalization« when one speaks of military defeats or the loss of hegemony on world markets. Using five examples from the French Revolution to the Vietnam War, Wolfgang Schivelbusch shows how the taboo break of retreat was justified in various situations - and discovers disturbing parallels to our present day.

In German.

Wolfgang Schivelbusch is Senior fellow at the ZfL.

Media Response

07 May 2019
Ein kulturhistorischer Blick auf den Rückzug

Review by Martin Halter, in: Badische Zeitung, 07 May 2019

08 Apr 2019
Vom Rückzug zur Exit-Strategie. Buch von Wolfgang Schivelbusch

Review by Steffen Richter, in: Der Tagesspiegel, 08 Apr 2019

19 Mar 2019
Der Rückzug als Stiefvater aller Dinge

Review by Franziska Augstein, in: Süddeutsche Zeitung, 19 Mar 2019

16 Mar 2019
Sieger wie Verlierer haben ihre Legenden

Review by Jürgen Osterhammel, in: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 16 Mar 2019