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.
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
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