Decisive Moments in History
Decisive Moments in History (German: Sternstunden der Menschheit) is a 1927 history book by the Austrian writer Stefan Zweig. It started off with only five miniatures in its first edition and grew to a collection of 14 with later editions. Its first English translation was published in 1940 as The Tide of Fortune: Twelve Historical Miniatures. The miniatures relate historical events that changed the world.
- Die Weltminute von Waterloo (The World Minute of Waterloo) Napoleon's defeat at the battle of Waterloo.
- Die Marienbader Elegie (The Ellegy of Marienbad). Johann Wolfgang von Goethe writes the Marienbad Elegy.
- Die Entdeckung Eldorados (The Discovery of Eldorado). An employee of John Sutter discovers gold in Nueva Helvecia, starting the California Gold Rush.
- Heroischer Augenblick (Heroic Moment). The execution of Fyodor Dostoyevskiy.
- Der Kampf um den Südpol (The Fight for the South Pole). Robert Scott and his expedition reach the South Pole to find that Roald Amundsen's team arrived first.
- Flucht in die Unsterblichkeit (Escape to Immortality). Vasco Núñez de Balboa discovers the Pacific Ocean.
- Die Eroberung von Byzanz (Conquest of Byzantium). Constantinople, the last remain of the Byzantine empire falls to the Ottomans.
- Georg Friedrich Händels Auferstehung (Resurrection of Georg Friedrich Händel). Georg Friedrich Händel recovers and writes The Messiah.
- Das Genie einer Nacht (The Genius of a [single] Night). Rouget de Lisle writes La Marsellaise.
- Das erste Wort über den Ozean (The First Word Across the Ocean). Cyrus W. Field establishes the first trans-Oceanic cable.
- Die Flucht zu Gott (The Flight to God). An additional act to Lev Tolstoy's The Light Shines in the Darkness.
- Der versiegelte Zug (The Sealed Train). Vladimir Ilich Lenin boards a train commissioned by the Central Powers to start the Russian Revolution.
- Cicero (The Head on the Rostrum)
- Wilson versagt (Wilson's Failure)
Only the first five miniatures were included in the first edition of the book. The second (German) edition of 1940 added those listed above as numbers 6 through to 12. The last two were added to later German editions but were already part of the first English edition published under the title "The Tide of Fortune: Twelve Historical Miniatures".
The book was well-received upon its publication.
- "Stefan Zweig." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Sixth Edition. 2008. Encyclopedia.com. 21 Nov. 2010 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.
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