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Visions of Empire in the Nazi-Occupied Netherlands


  • Date Published: February 2012
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107015807

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About the Authors
  • This book explores how the experiences of World War II shaped and transformed Dutch perceptions of their centuries-old empire. Focusing on the work of leading anti-Nazi resisters, Jennifer L. Foray examines how the war forced a rethinking of colonial practices and relationships. As Dutch resisters planned for a postwar world bearing little resemblance to that of 1940, they envisioned a wide range of possibilities for their empire and its territories, anticipating a newly harmonious relationship between the Netherlands and its most prized colony in the East Indies. Though most of the underground writers and thinkers discussed in this book ultimately supported the idea of a Dutch commonwealth, this structure wouldn't come to pass in the postwar period. The Netherlands instead embarked on a violent decolonization process brought about by wartime conditions in the Netherlands and the East Indies.

    • Focuses on a lesser-studied empire, the Netherlands
    • Examines various popular topics simultaneously: World War II, Nazism and anti-Nazi resistance, imperialism, decolonization
    • Explores the historic relationship between Indonesia and the Netherlands and, in the process, helps illuminate the problems of post-colonial relationships
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'Jennifer Foray presents an impressive body of research on one of the main questions facing a world at war in the 1940s: what kind of world could emerge from the catastrophe? Not least of her accomplishments is to bring out a wide spectrum of opinion: not a 'Dutch' approach to empire and colonies, but a variety of alternatives and conflicting viewpoints. She shows the extent and limitations of the connection members of the Dutch resistance made between their own experience of Nazi occupation and the status of colonized people in the Dutch East Indies. Her book contributes insightfully to a new assessment of World War II as a turning point in the long history of empires.' Frederick Cooper, coauthor of Empires in World History: Power and the Politics of Difference (2010)

    'Does an empire rethink its right to rule over others when it too becomes a victim of imperial conquest? This intriguing question lies at the heart of Jennifer Foray's highly original and illuminating study of the Dutch debate about the future of their empire while under German occupation.' Dane Kennedy, George Washington University

    'An important addition to the burgeoning field of decolonization studies, Jennifer Foray's study of Dutch debates over the future of empire after the Second World War vividly demonstrates the connections between war and colonialism, precipitated by the Nazi occupation of the Netherlands and the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies. Foray explores the surprisingly wide range of opinion on Dutch imperial ambitions in the waning years of European imperial dominance. This is a book with significance well beyond the national boundaries of the Netherlands.' Philippa Levine, University of Texas, Austin

    'An invaluable and indeed indispensable major work on the Netherlands and the Dutch East Indies during World War II.' Wm. Roger Louis, University of Texas, Austin

    'Jennifer L. Foray has produced an engaging, stimulating, and ultimately convincing study, based on careful and exhaustive research, which amply reinforces and develops existing interpretations of the corrosive influence of war on European colonialism, while clarifying the metropolitan underpinnings of late colonial rule. This scholarly yet highly readable book … is a model for the historical reconstruction of civilian resistance and will attract many admiring imitators.' L. J. Butler, American Historical Review

    '… delivers an interesting contribution to the history of occupation as well as to the study of decolonization.' Johannes Koll, European History Quarterly

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    Product details

    • Date Published: February 2012
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107015807
    • length: 352 pages
    • dimensions: 241 x 165 x 30 mm
    • weight: 0.66kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. War comes to the kingdom
    2. The landscape of resistance and the clandestine press
    3. 'Look to the East!' collaboration, colonialism, and compensatory schemes
    4. 'Indies lost, disaster born': the trauma of early 1942
    5. Mutuality, equality, and a Dutch commonwealth: the Queen's speech of December 7, 1942
    6. Countering the commonwealth: the center and right enter the fray
    7. 'After our liberation, that of Indonesia': preparing for battle
    8. Wartime consensus and post-war pressures
    Conclusion: the end of an era.

  • Author

    Jennifer L. Foray, Purdue University, Indiana
    Jennifer L. Foray is an Assistant Professor of History at Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in Modern Western European History from Columbia University and her B.A. in Anthropology from Fordham University. She is the recipient of a Fulbright Grant to the Netherlands, a Foreign Language and Areas Studies fellowship and a German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) grant. For the 2010–11 academic year, she served as a Kluge Fellow at the John W. Kluge Center at the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. Her teaching and research interests include imperialism and decolonization; social and cultural responses to war and trauma, especially memorialization and commemoration; and the Netherlands. This is her first book.

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