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The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe / Edition 1

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Overview


Modern Europeans, argues T. C. W. Blanning, are characterized by the conviction that the ground is moving beneath their feet. Among other things, it has given them a strong sense of dynamism: the world is changing, it can be changed, and so it should be changed. Indeed, in the last two centuries, modern Europeans have transformed not only their continent but the world.
This lavishly illustrated history of Europe from the late eighteenth century to the present day offers a fascinating guide to the momentous events, achievements, and personalities that have stamped their mark on the continent. Written by an international team of leading scholars, The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe is at once authoritative, stimulating, and accessible, presenting both change and continuity, revolution and stability--not only in politics but also in the economic, social, cultural, and military realms. Here Europe's turbulent history is traced, from the beginnings of the Revolution in France to the dawn of two world wars to the breakup of the Soviet Union to today's kaleidoscope of nation-states. The achievements (and failures) of key figures from many arenas--politics, technology, warfare, religion, and the arts among them--are drawn vividly, including the contributions of such disparate characters as Louis XVIII of France, Gottlieb Daimler, and André Maginot. Social, cultural, and economic insights are included alongside the record of geopolitical strife: we read of the personality cult as exemplified by the Soviet portraits glorifying Lenin; the importance of the nylon stocking in the post-World War II economic boom; the influence of religion as five new nations (Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, and Albania) emerged between 1871 and 1914--an influence that continues to be both vigorous and deadly; and the confrontation between traditional and modern cultures captured as the railway age began in Russia.
Insightful, provocative, and intellectually rewarding, this book offers an unparalleled, informed perspective on the history of the continent. The only fully illustrated general history of modern Europe available--more than 240 illustrations, including many in full color, complement the text throughout--The Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe will give every reader a better understanding of the world in which we live, how it came to be what it is, and where it may be going next.
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Editorial Reviews

History
There are many histories of modern Europe, but none quite like [this] unique and scholarly work . . .This comprehensive volume gives an informed perspective and an outstanding and excellent analysis of European history of the last two centuries.
Library Journal
The French Revolution instituted a period of political and social change that still affects Europe today. This volume presents 12 interpretive essays by leading U.S. and British scholars covering politics, economics, warfare, class structure, art, and culture from the time of the revolution through 1995. Central themes include the idea that revolution against established order was possible, successful, and, once underway, perhaps unstoppable. The idea of radical change also had a huge impact on the intellectual and cultural life as reflected in the art and literature of the period. Science and technology reinforced this concept by spreading industrialization throughout the Continent. Although science increased the lifespan of the overall population, many lived in poor conditions and fell victim to increasingly bloody warfare. The 20th century saw Europe divided among democratic capitalism, fascism, and communism and subject to two horrific wars. The collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, 200 years after the beginning of the French Revolution, eliminated one ideological barrier but left numerous unsolved problems. Combined with these well-written essays are photographs, reproductions, drawings, and maps that augment the authors' arguments -- Stephen L. Hupp, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Pennsylvania
Library Journal
The French Revolution instituted a period of political and social change that still affects Europe today. This volume presents 12 interpretive essays by leading U.S. and British scholars covering politics, economics, warfare, class structure, art, and culture from the time of the revolution through 1995. Central themes include the idea that revolution against established order was possible, successful, and, once underway, perhaps unstoppable. The idea of radical change also had a huge impact on the intellectual and cultural life as reflected in the art and literature of the period. Science and technology reinforced this concept by spreading industrialization throughout the Continent. Although science increased the lifespan of the overall population, many lived in poor conditions and fell victim to increasingly bloody warfare. The 20th century saw Europe divided among democratic capitalism, fascism, and communism and subject to two horrific wars. The collapse of the Soviet bloc in 1989, 200 years after the beginning of the French Revolution, eliminated one ideological barrier but left numerous unsolved problems. Combined with these well-written essays are photographs, reproductions, drawings, and maps that augment the authors' arguments -- Stephen L. Hupp, University of Pittsburgh-Johnstown, Pennsylvania
School Library Journal
Arranged in roughly chronological order, essays discuss the significant aspects of politics, economy, conflicts, culture, and industrialization in Europe from 1750 - 1995. Each chapter is by a different scholar in the field and is approximately 30 pages long. The effects of constant change are evident throughout. Although writing styles vary, the insightful essays are accessible to high school students with some history background. Black-and-white photographs appear adjacent to the text they clarify. Full-color illustrations are placed on plates in relevant chapters. They include buildings, posters, people, paintings, and cartoons. The chronology is especially detailed, which helps students to see the progression or build up to a more significant event. Each author has contributed to the thorough bibliography. Six clear maps trace the changing borders of countries from 1789 to 1995.-- Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, Virginia
Gilbert Taylor
No sentence is superfluous in this topical overview of the two revolutionary centuries since 1789. Verbal economy being its hallmark, the edition leaves plenty of room for illustrations (starting with the dust jacket, the dramatic 1945 image of the Soviet banner atop the Reichstag) that powerfully emphasize what Blanning's 10 authors interpret about economics, politics, culture, class and family, and other areas. Each subject encloses modernity, the embrace of change or the rejection of it. Two chapters treat of modernity in the arts (on the replacement of aristocratic patronage by commercialism and on this century's fragmentation of visual arts into idiosyncratic groups, like the dadaists). The big change visible to all was industrialism, depicted here in contemporary paintings of blast furnaces and railroads. The effect on military technology warrants two chapters, halved by 1918, while political currents from monarchism to nationalism to communism to fascism also receive their judicious due. As usual from Oxford, a balanced, attractive one-volume resource
History
There are many histories of modern Europe, but none quite like [this] unique and scholarly work . . .This comprehensive volume gives an informed perspective and an outstanding and excellent analysis of European history of the last two centuries.
From the Publisher

"There are many histories of modern Europe, but none quite like the unique and scholarly work. ...This comprehensive volume gives an informed perspective and an outstanding and excellent analysis of European history of the last two centuries."--HISTORY

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198203742
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 4/4/1996
  • Series: Oxford Illustrated Histories Series
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 7.81 (w) x 10.00 (h) x 1.09 (d)

Meet the Author

About the Editor:
T. C. W. Blanning is Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge and the author of many books, including several definitive works on the French Revolution.

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Table of Contents

List of Colour Plates
List of Maps
List of Contributors
Introduction 1
1 Revolution from Above and Below: European Politics from the French Revolution to the First World War 11
2 The Industrialization of Modern Europe, 1750-1914 40
3 Military Modernization, 1789-1918 69
4 From Orders to Classes: European Society in the Nineteenth Century 94
5 The Commercialization and Sacralization of European Culture in the Nineteenth Century 120
6 The Great Civil War: European Politics, 1914-1945 148
7 The Fall and Rise of the European Economy in the Twentieth Century 182
8 Warfare in Europe since 1918 210
9 European Society in the Twentieth Century 231
10 From Modernism to Post-Modernism 255
11 Europe Divided and Reunited, 1945-1995 279
Further Reading 305
Chronology 321
Maps 333
Acknowledgement of Sources 346
Index 349
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