Now in full-color comes a witty and engaging look at Europe's history and art, from America's European travel expert, Rick Steves.
Rick Steves' Europe 101 helps you make the most of your sightseeing. A fun but informative guide, this "professor in your pocket" features chronologically organized chapters-from the pyramids to Picasso-that explain the forces behind Europe's most important cultural and artistic periods. Other features include handy lists of sights that allow you to link your newly acquired knowledge with the specific paintings, sculptures, and buildings you'll see on your trip, a humorous, readable style that is a joy to read compared with the history textbooks you slept on in school, and timelines, maps, drawings, and photos that illustrate Europe's story and round out your education.
About the Author
Rick Steves is on a mission: to help make European travel accessible and meaningful for Americans. Rick has spent 100 days every year since 1973 exploring Europe. He's researched and written 24 travel guidebooks and hosts the public television series Rick Steves' Europe, now in its seventh season. He also organizes and leads tours of Europe and offers an information-packed website (ricksteves.com). Rick lives in Edmonds, WA, just north of Seattle, with his family.
Table of Contents
History and Art of Europe
Prehistoric Europe 1
Egypt (3000 - 1000 B.C.) 10
Greece (2000 - 150 B.C.) 26
Rome (500 B.C. - A.D. 500) 58
The "Dark" Ages (A.D. 500 - 1000) 92
The High Middle Ages (A.D. 1000 - 1500) 116
The Renaissance (1400 - 1600) 162
Reformation, Discovery, and the Rise of Nation-States (1500 - 1650) 222
Divine Monarchs and Revolution (1650 - 1815) 264
19th-Century Europe 308
The 20th Century 358
Europe Today 420
Art Appreciation 454
Music Appreciation 488
Thirty-Two Millennia in Six Pages 494
Artists and Dates 501
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
...written with humor that will help you remember. Wanting to really understand what I was going to see in an upcoming trip I bought this book after watching several Rick Steves shows on public TV. It is an easy (but long) read giving a wonderful overview of what you'll see in Europe. If you like Rick Steves approach to "travel through the back door" you'll enjoy this look at European history, architecture and art.
Rick Steves provides a very readable overview of European history and art for American travellers. He covers a lot of territory with a light touch that is often amusing. If you are a fan of his tv programs, you will definitely enjoy this book. You can almost hear him speaking as you read it. He makes both the history and the art accessible to those of us who have only vague notions about either. It provides indispensible information for people who are going to Europe and want to have a better understanding of what they see there. It is also useful for travel in North America, as I discovered on a recent visit to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. From what I know from other sources, he has done good research and presented information fairly; I only noticed one error, and it was a minor one.
I've always been a science and math type of girl. I have an interest in art and history, but no patience for them. As such, this book was perfect for me. It gives a brief (500 page) history of Europe and its art from prehistoric times to today with lots of color photos and sidebars. I was very appreciative of the bit at the end which explained Christian themes and symbols and Greek and Roman mythology, which in just a few pages increased my understanding of the vast majority of European art. I happened to read this book while traveling through Europe on a Rick Steves' tour so every day I would see something and think "I just read about that!" or read something and think, "I just saw that!" which was pretty neat. Unfortunately, I was still sick of art and history by the time I finished reading this. The last chapter in this book is "Europe Today." It gave an interesting description of the EU, but I was a little annoyed because I felt it got a little to soapboxy at times. I enjoyed the way the entire book was sprinkled with humor, but sometimes it felt just a little bit too irreverent. Overall, I'm very glad I read this.
This little book is packed with facts, diagrams and pictures that will enhance almost anyone's understanding of basic European history and art. Furthermore, it is a "fun read" primer.