Recommendation: Jiří Janáč’s book

New book by Jiří Janáč (Univerzita Karlova, Praga): European Coasts of Bohemia, Negotiating the Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal in a Troubled Twentieth Century, Amsterdam University Press, 2012.

Jiří Janáč’s book on the history of a major waterway project in Central Europe is a rare achievement. Efficiently combining history of technology with political history, the author succeeds in making remarkable contributions to both fields. In his analysis of the century-long history of the Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal project, he shows how political reasons and technical criteria appear inexorably intertwined. The actors taking part in the decision-making cannot be easily separated into two groups, “politicians” and “technicians,” either, though they may strategically claim one or another status in order to further their goals. Using the canal project as a case study, the book outlines the continuities and discontinuities between different political regimes, such as constitutional monarchy, liberal democratic republic, Nazi-occupied territory and communist regime. This allows the reader to ask herself about the interpretative power even of such a “common-sense” notion like the “Iron Curtain”

Darina Martykánová posted a review in The Journal of Transport History: Jiří Janáč, European Coasts of Bohemia, Negotiating the Danube-Oder-Elbe Canal in a Troubled Twentieth Century, Amsterdam University Press, 2012. Reviewed by Darina Martykánová. The Journal of Transport History, 37 (2016). Link: https://www.academia.edu/26257018/Ji%C5%99%C3%AD_Jan%C3%A1%C4%8D_European_Coasts_of_Bohemia_Negotiating_the_Danube-Oder-Elbe_Canal_in_a_Troubled_Twentieth_Century_Amsterdam_University_Press_2012._Reviewed_by_Darina_Martyk%C3%A1nov%C3%A1._The_Journal_of_Transport_History_37_2016_

Darina Martykánová

Darina Martykánová is historian, dealing mainly with Spain and the Ottoman Empire. She works at the Departament of Modern History of the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. Her research focuses on the history of professions and on transnational circulation of knowledge. Her second line of research concerns the redefinition of masculinites in interaction with the discourse of "progress of civilisation".

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