Philipp Ther

The Other End of History - On the Great Transformation

(German title: Das andere Ende der Geschichte)
ca. 200 pages
Philipp Ther
Foto: Philipp Ther
© Barbara Mair/Universität Wien

Professor Philipp Ther (born 1967) teaches Modern European and East European History at the University of Vienna. He has already published five books in English, and his publications have been translated into various other languages. He has received several prizes and awards, including the John-F.-Kennedy Fellowship at the Center for European Studies, Harvard University (in 1997/98), the 2012 Translation Award of the German Book Trade Association (Börsenverein des deutschen Buchhandels) for Die dunkle Seite der Nationalstaaten: ›ethnische Säuberungen‹ im modernen Europa, which was also nominated as Academic Non-Fiction Book of the Year (2018, category Humanities, Social and Cultural Science) by the Austrian Ministry for Science, Reseach and Economy. He received the 2015 Prize of the Leipzig Book Fair for Die neue Ordnung auf dem alten Kontinent, which was also shortlisted for the Prix du livre européen. Furthermore, his work has earned him the Richard G. Plaschka-Preis (2006) and the Wittgenstein-Preis (2019).

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Poland (Nauka i Innowacje)

30 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall


In 1989, the West appeared to be the lone victor of history. Today, the triumphalism of that time sounds more than stale. What went wrong?

Multi-award winning historian Philipp Ther is searching for an answer in his latest book. He deals with topics such as economic-political errors after the reunification (from escrow to Hartz IV, the German welfare system), analyses the development of the USA after the Clinton years and asks why Russia and Turkey have turned their backs on the West. Drawing on Karl Polanyi’s groundbreaking book The Great Transformation, Ther recapitulates the rapid changes of the past thirty years that had no less of a dramatic effect west of the former Iron Curtain as they did east of it.


»The present after the Cold War looks different from what those blinded by triumph but also the intelligent reformers had expected. Philipp Ther explores the question of what went wrong in six chapters. They belong among the most interesting of the many recent diagnoses of the times.« Jens Bisky, Süddeutsche Zeitung

»A book that makes us understand how we sight of peace.« Swantje Karich, Die Welt

»A fearless, astute analysis of the turmoil we are shaken by.« Elisabeth von Thadden, DIE ZEIT

»[…] intelligent and with a humble attitude and with an eye towards his children, whom he wishes ›a better future than the one discernible at the moment‹.« Hannes Hintermeier, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

Other publications

Die Außenseiter/The Outsiders (2017)

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English world rights (Princeton UP), Spain (PUZ), Italy (Keller)

Die neue Ordnung auf dem alten Kontinent/Europe After 1989 (2014)

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English world rights (Princeton UP), Chinese complex rights (Rye Field), Finland (Vastapaino), Japan (Misuzu Shobo), Poland (Kurhaus Publishing), Czech Republic (Libri), Bulgaria (KX Critique & Humanism), Ukraine (Antropogos-Logos-Film)