Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945

by Tony Judt

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Finalist for the Pulitzer Prize

Winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award

One of the New York Times' Ten Best Books of the Year

Almost a decade in the making, this much-anticipated grand history of postwar Europe from one of the world's most esteemed historians and intellectuals is a singular achievement. Postwar is the first modern history that covers all of Europe, both east and west, drawing on research in six languages to sweep readers through thirty-four nations and sixty years of political and cultural change-all in one integrated, enthralling narrative. Both intellectually ambitious and compelling to read, thrilling in its scope and delightful in its small details, Postwar is a rare joy.


Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781440624766
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 09/05/2006
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 960
Sales rank: 5,612
File size: 19 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Tony Judt was the Erich Maria Remarque Professor of European Studies at New York University, as well as the founder and director of the Remarque Institute, dedicated to creating an ongoing conversation between Europe and the United States. He was educated at King’s College, Cambridge, and the École Normale Supérieure, Paris, and also taught at Cambridge, Oxford, and Berkeley. Professor Judt was a frequent contributor to The New York Review of BooksThe Times Literary Supplement, The New RepublicThe New York Times, and many journals across Europe and the United States. He is the author or editor of fifteen books, including Thinking the Twentieth CenturyThe Memory ChaletIll Fares the LandReappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century, and Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945, which was one of The New York Times Book Review’s Ten Best Books of 2005, the winner of the Council on Foreign Relations Arthur Ross Book Award, and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He died in August 2010 at the age of sixty-two.

Table of Contents


Part One: Post-War: 1945-1953

I. The Legacy of War
II. Retribution
III. The Rehabilitation of Europe
IV. The Impossible Settlement
V. The Coming of the Cold War
VI. Into the Whirlwind
VII. Culture Wars
Coda. The End of Old Europe

Part Two: Prosperity and Its Discontents: 1953-1971

VIII. The Politics of Stability
IX. Lost Illusions
X. The Age of Affluence
XI. The Social Democratic Hour
XII. The Spectre of Revolution
XIII. The End of the Affair

Part Three: Recessional: 1971-1989

XIV. Diminished Expectations
XV. Politics in a New Key
XVI. A Time of Transition
XVII. The New Realism
XVIII. The Power of the Powerless
XIX. The End of the Old Order

Part Four: After the Fall: 1989-2005

XX. A Fissile Continent
XXI. The Reckoning
XXII. The Old Europe—:and the New
XXIII. The Varieties of Europe
XXIV. Europe as a Way of Life

From the House of the Dead: An Essay on Modern European Memory


What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

...brilliantly detailed account of Europe's recovery from the wreckage of World War II presents a whole continent in panorama. (The New York Times Book Review)

Remarkable... The writing is vivid; the coverage-of little countries as well as of great ones-is virtually superhuman. (Louis Menand, The New Yorker)

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Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
merganser on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book attempts to draw a history of Europe during the postwar period from 1945 to 2005. It considers four main periods: post-war, 1945-1953; prosperity, 1953-1971; recession, 1971-1989; and after the fall of communism, 1989-2005.I found it a fairly easy read and quite fascinating. I have a general knowledge of this historical period and this book filled in a lot of gaps and provided a good overall context that I lacked. Born in 1958 I found it filled in a lot I didn't know and helped illuminate the period of time I've lived through. An example is the large migrations of people at the end of the war which helped to make most European countries more ethnically homogenous after the war. The author argues that Yugoslavia did not go through this process and this contributed to the Balkan wars during the 1990s.Highly recommended.
Shrike58 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In this work Judt is at his best dealing with the short period between the Zero Hour of April, 1945 and the onset of the Cold War, and how the new German Question of what to do with the wreckage of the Third Reich contributed to the new international struggle between Washington and Moscow over predominance in a prostrate Europe. Apart from the issues of writing the all-encompassing general history the main issue here is that this book is already feeling a little dated, despite having only been published in 2005. Sadly, Judt is no longer with us to rectify matters in a follow-on work; his erudition and wit will be missed,
Angelic55blonde on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you want a comprehensive, thoroughly researched book on Post-War Europe, then this is the book for you. There are no footnotes or endnotes to help the reader figure out where the author got his information, however there is a "suggested reading" section at the end of the book for each chapter. This book is very long, about 800 pages, but it is thorough and covers everything from 1945 onwards. It's interesting and informative at the same time. However, if you are only casually interested in European history, you may not want to tackle this right away.
McCaine on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Judt's book "Postwar" is a massive product of a massive undertaking, which is to tell the story of Europe's history since World War II. He pays attention to all the relevant aspects of European history, taking care to balance between Western and Eastern Europe in his narration. The most original aspect of this book is the way Tony Judt gives predominance rather to the socio-economic history of the continent instead of the political history, elevating his analysis above the level of high school "Kings and battles" overviews. The European project of unification as well as the perceived downfall of ideological politics is also put into the spotlight. The downside of this is that the political views of the author (solidly British conservative) serve as a lens through which he views the social and economic developments of Europe, rather than putting the political side "in the open", so to speak, as most popular historians do. This does however allow him to describe the history of the communist states in Eastern Europe with a suitably detached air, certainly an improvement over the denunciatory tone many American historians of Eastern Europe use. The overall balance of subjects within the book is very well done, and one never leaves a chapter feeling that there was more to be told about the period. Nevertheless the focus on Europe is itself quite narrow, and hardly anything is said about the influence of the United States or Japan on Europe (except some platitudes about American cinema and the like), or for example the effects the decolonization had on European colonizing states' perception of their own history. This hole in Judt's historiographical approach will not hinder anyone who is just looking for a general overview of European post-war history, but does prevent it from becoming more than a popular historical work. Too bad, since Judt obviously has a keen eye for the kaleidoscope of social relations. Mostly recommended for non-European readers who want a thorough overview of what's happened on the continent since 1945.
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