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Book Cover for: Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time, Bernard Wasserstein

Barbarism and Civilization: A History of Europe in Our Time

Bernard Wasserstein

Here is the definitive history of contemporary Europe, a controversial but authoritative and lively narrative that is destined to become the standard account of the period from 1914 to the present. In this superb volume, esteemed historian Bernard Wasserstein offers the first serious, full-length history of a century of convulsive change. It is a history of barbarism and civilization, of cruelty and tenderness, of technological achievement and environmental blight, of imperial expansion and withdrawal, of authoritarian repression and of individual rebirth. Wasserstein provides both a narrative of the main contours of the political, diplomatic, and military history and an analysis the underpinnings of demographic, economic, and social developments. Drawing on the latest scholarly findings, including recent disclosures of intelligence materials and archival revelations that followed the fall of Communism in Eastern Europe, Wasserstein captures the essence of contemporary European history in an engaging narrative that is by turns grim, humorous, surprising, and enlightening.

Book Details

  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publish Date: Jun 15th, 2009
  • Pages: 928
  • Language: English
  • Dimensions: 9.10in - 6.10in - 2.00in - 3.05lb
  • EAN: 9780198730736
  • Categories: Europe - GeneralModern - 20th Century - General

About the Author

Bernard Wasserstein is Harriet and Ulrich Meyer Professor of History at the University of Chicago.

Praise for this book

"A very impressive historical synthesis. Wasserstein has a lovely brisk, dry style that keeps the pages turning. He is also a fine storyteller: His accounts of the great military and diplomatic set-pieces are not just well researched and thoughtful but fast-moving and exciting. As narrative histories of the last century go, this is as good as it gets."--Dominic Sandbrook, Literary Review

"A rare gem of contemporary scholarship.... A tour de force."--Publishers Weekly

"An admirable work of scholarly synthesis, which should be required reading...for anyone absorbed by the perplexing century we recently left behind.... Enjoyable as well as compelling."--Geoffrey Wheatcroft, The Spectator

"A comprehensive yet readable narrative that blends arresting detail with well-considered generalizations."--David Cesarani, Jewish Chronicle

"Wasserstein displays encyclopedic knowledge of his subject but has written far more than an encyclopedia.... His authoritative account of Europe's highs and lows over the past century will give readers everything they need."--Foreign Affairs

"A rich and broad-ranging synthesis... the book has a pleasing density and balance. Numerous plums enrich an always fluently written and insightful text that artfully conceals the amount of material that has been synthesized."--Mark Mazower, Times Literary Supplment

"Eloquent, exhaustive and highly learned, this book is both a considerable achievement and an enlivening read...a highly competent and impressive book."--John Bew, Times Higher Education Supplement

"By turns grim, humorous and surprising, this is a fascinating sweep of the century, covering war, politics, and social, cultural and economic change."--Belfast Telegraph

"A thoroughly engaging read, and one that is to be highly recommended." --The Journal of Modern History