Europe 1900 1945 Short Oxford History of Europe PDF/EPUB ê PDF/EPUB papercuts.co

This book provides a thought provoking and wide ranging history of the whole of Europe between 1900 and 1945 Featuring six lively and stimulating chapters that have been specifically written for this volume Europe 1900 1945 focuses on the political economic social and cultural aspects of this time period It also examines the international relations within Europe and the wider world Particular care is taken to integrate developments in southern and eastern Europe including the USSR into the familiar story of what occurred in western and central Europe A guide to further reading a chronology and an index allow readers to follow up on interest in particular countries


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    This is a very concise nicely done introduction to a period in modern history which many students and autodidacts take a keen interest in I would recommend it particularly to those who want a brief summary of standard historical perspectives on the World Wars and particularly the inter War period Because it tries to be inclusive one can use it to get an overview regarding a particular national case by checking the index for entries regarding that nation and correlating the information It can also be read straight through in relatively little time thanks to its brevity or could be assigned chapter by chapter to a course approaching the subject matter thematically Each chapter is written by a different author and naturally this leads to some unevenness although overall the book integrates well as a unit The first two chapters however begin with concise introductory paragraphs that serve as summaries of the contents while later chapters abandon this approach which is a bit confusing Julian Jackson’s introduction serves to lay out the questions and themes that will be of interest for the period – primarily the causes and effects of the wars and the growth and limitations of the State David Stevenson’s chapter on International Relations serves to give a sense of the alliances and conflicts that over arched the period and the development toward a stable balance of power after the end date It would have been strengthened for use with undergraduates by the inclusion of some maps showing the shifting borders of Europe Chapter three is on “Economy” by Harold James and he gives a very detailed account of the major economic issues of the period and naturally includes visual data in the form of tables To a large degree his emphasis is on the “contracting spiral of world trade” 68 the growth of bilateralism and its effect in promoting conflict Kevin Pass contributes one of the best chapters which covers “Politics” during the period He gives background on left and right wing tendencies details the impact of the First World War then explores the rise of Soviet Communism and the rise and fall of Fascism The next section on “Society” by Richard Bessel is of a mixed bag Bessel is an excellent scholar and he provides some interesting material but he never really defines “society” and leaves it to the reader to understand what differentiates his subject matter from the other clearly socially based chaptersRajnarayan Chandravarkar takes on the challenge of addressing “Imperialism and the European empires” possibly the subject on which the most research has been done in the subsequent ten years As such this chapter may be dated than the others today but it remains a good introduction for neophytes to the tensions between the growth of liberal democratic ideals and imperial aspirations Modris Eksteins ends the formal essays with a discussion of “Culture” which follows a largely chronological format Like Bessel Eksteins avoids clearly defining his purview but culture as a concept is somewhat less slippery than society In this case he clearly means cultural products like art music and literature with an emphasis on the visual arts and he does an adequate job of introducing the subject although his emphasis is primarily on Western Europe with scant attention to the East Jackson returns to sum up and suggest some implications for scholars in the conclusionIn spite of some weaknesses then this is a useful volume It would probably best be used for instructing undergraduates or as a reference for modern historians of areas outside of Europe who need to double check what European powers were doing at a given moment in the history of their areas