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The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy

The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy

3.4 9
by Peter H. Wilson

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ISBN-10: 0674062310

ISBN-13: 9780674062313

Pub. Date: 10/15/2011

Publisher: Harvard

A deadly continental struggle, the Thirty Years War devastated seventeenth-century Europe, killing nearly a quarter of all Germans and laying waste to towns and countryside alike. Peter Wilson offers the first new history in a generation of a horrifying conflict that transformed the map of the modern world.

When defiant Bohemians tossed the Habsburg emperor&rsquo

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The Thirty Years War: Europe's Tragedy 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
Panoply More than 1 year ago
This is NOT a book for the general history reader. It is a book for serious history readers, bordering on a book for 'expert' historical readers (like the two volume history of the Holy Roman Empire by Whaley or the newly released - and EXCELLENT - 'Heart of Europe,' by - guess who! - Peter Wilson, the author of this book. I mention the HRE because it and the Thirty Years War are inextricably linked. If you are unfamiliar with the HRE, this book isn't for you). If, however, you are such a reader, or are reasonably familiar with the HRE, this book is great. Far and away the best history of this incredibly important war. If you feel this book may be too much for you or you simply aren't THAT interested in the subject, may I recommend 'The Thirty Years' War,' by Wedgewood? It is written very engagingly - really a page turner. Also, it can't be used as a doorstop.
glauver More than 1 year ago
Peter H. Wilson has written an exhaustive study of a now obscure seventeenth century (1618-48) conflict, perhaps a bit too exhaustive. It took me about two months to get through the 800 plus page text. About twenty-five years ago I read the standard The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood, written in 1938. Wilson is much more detailed and thorough than she was, but not her equal as a stylist. Another problem for the reader is a lack of sympathetic characters. Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden was the only personality who dominated events, but his premature death in battle ensured that the war would be carried on by average generals and statesmen only interested in saving face. Any good account of the Thirty Years War demonstrates its basic futility and brutality and ends leaving one depressed and disgusted. Perhaps the war was just too complicated to get a handle on.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book goes into meticulous details of the causes and aftermath of the Thirty Years' War, as well as the events and characters during the war itself. For those that adore history as I do, this is an enlightening book. When I learned of the Thirty Years' War in my history class I was deeply absorbed into the teacher's lectures, and I was itching to find a novel on the topic; and then I found the one by Wilson. Also, other great history novels every history buff should read are King Kaiser Tsar by Catrine Clay and books by authors: Alison Weir, Robert K. Massie, and James Reston Jr.
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TemplarMike More than 1 year ago
The author claims in the introduction that this will be the best source on the Thirty Years War ever written, and he is likely correct. The problem with this book is that it simply delves WAY TOO MUCH into background information. The author spends the first 265 pages of the book-265 PAGES!- explaining to the reader the history behind the Thirty Years War, the Hapsburg empire, the Protestant Catholic conflicts, the war in Netherlands against the Spanish, how the Spanish silver trade from the Americas worked, how firearms had revolutionized warfare, how wars were fought, how the Ottoman Empire worked, how the Hapsburg Empire worked, yet never seems to conclude anything. This is like reading Wikipedia for fun-which I do-but worse on so many different levels. Not that the book is bad, far from it. It is actually an engaging read, especially for someone with professional interest in the period. But as a fun, just reading book, not even close. It is an excellent book, very readable, but way, way, way too filled with information.