Geoff Eley is Karl Pohrt Distinguished University Professor of Contemporary History at the University of Michigan. He works on modern German and European History, fascism, film and history, and historiography. His earliest works were Reshaping the German Right: Radical Nationalism and Political Change after Bismarck (1980, 1991) and (with David Blackbourn) The Peculiarities of German History (1980, 1984). More recent books include Forging Democracy (2002), A Crooked Line: From Cultural History to the History of Society (2005), (with Keith Nield) The Future of Class in History (2007), and Nazism as Fascism: Violence, Ideology, and the Ground of Consent in Grmany, 1930-1945 (2013). He is coeditor of German Colonialism in a Global Age (2014). He is writing a general history of Europe in the twentieth century and a new study of the German Right, Genealogies of Nazism: Conservatives, Radical Nationalists, Fasicsts in Germany, 1860-1945.
Why do we tell and engage with (listen, read, watch, play) stories compulsively? In our world of usually unsparing evolutionary competition, good information matters for organisms of every kind.