Moderne und Gewalt. Zivilisationstheoretische Perspektiven auf das 20. Jahrhundert
Wiesbaden: VS Verlag 2005
579 pp., Euro 49.90; ISBN 3-8100-3753-2

Modernity and violence. Civilization-theoretical perspectives of the 20th century Although the 20th century has been an exremely violent one, in this century violence has been ícivilized´ and controlled to a large extent also ≠ and self-presentations of modernity include the claim to eliminate violence altogether. The book deals with this contradiction and the opposites of civilization and violence, and modernity and barbarianism. Imbusch first discusses violence and modernity in the history of ideas and notions and analyzes various attempts at understanding violent phenomena like the Holocaust, Stalinist terror and the World Wars, employing civilization theories of S. Freud, N. Elias, A. Weber, M. Horkheimer and T.W. Adorno. Considering contradictions and weaknesses of these theories the author shows the ambivalence of modernity in select cases of violence, pursuing further perspectives originally designed by Z. Bauman. Central statement is that the macro-crimes of the 20th century are not alien to modernity but constitute modernity´s most fatal possibilities of development; violence is a part of culture and modernity.

Keywords: modernity and violence, violence and modernity, culture and violence, civilization theory, Freud, S., Elias, N., Weber, A., Horkheimer, M., Adorno, T.W.