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European History For Dummies Paperback – 24 Mar 2006

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Product details

  • Paperback: 428 pages
  • Publisher: John Wiley & Sons (24 Mar. 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0764570609
  • ISBN-13: 978-0764570605
  • Product Dimensions: 18.8 x 2.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 553,696 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

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Product Description


"...Lang has produced a comprehensive, concise, fascinating account...of the main events that have helped shaped modern history..." ( The Times Educational Supplement , June 2006) "...well worth reading, handy as a reference book...." ( The Teacher , July 2006)

From the Back Cover

A fascinating glimpse into the formation of a continent The rich variety of Europe′s history rolled into one thrilling account This book takes you on a fascinating journey through the disasters, triumphs, people, power, and politics that have helped shape the Europe we know today and you′ll meet some incredible characters on the way! From Roman relics to Renaissance, World Wars, and Eurovision, European History For Dummies packs in the facts alongside the fun and brings the past alive. Discover The origins of the continent The roles religion, power, and politics have played in shaping the Europe of today How Europe became an industrial superpower The impact the past has on the present

Inside This Book

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One thing that hits you very quickly about Europe is how varied it is. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Y. M. Ng on 28 May 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm not a European. I came over to the UK to study. Therefore, you can say that i have almost zero knowledge about European history.

I have read more than half of the book now. I have to compliment the author for his ability to make European history fun to read. It is true that almost every page could make you laugh-provided that you know at least SOME european history beforehand.

There are a few problems with the book:

1. Out of 406 pages, there's only 1 map of Europe on the first page. No photos, no pictures, no other maps to illustrate the events written.

2. The author attempts to SUMMARISE everything happened in europe into 1 book-which is good for people who knows some history beforehand....but for a person like me who knows nothing about it, it's quite hard to follow the stories. How could you summarise Alexander the Great into 1 page?? Sometimes there're 10 new names and 5 new places in 1 page. How could a dummy like me understand what's going on?

In conclusion, this book is a great "summary" of European History, but not an informative book for dummies.

I would be happier if the author could just give an "overview" of what happened in Europe over certain times, the significance of them, and focus on some interesting events that happened, rather than squeezing every name and every event into 1 book.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By JC VINE VOICE on 30 July 2007
Format: Paperback it's a history book that you will actually read from start to finish without too much effort. This is how fantastic this book is - it will clear up all those niggling bits that were left out of school and it will also set pathways to explore other avenues that are more in-depth and has been made for people that just want to read about major events in past history and not in the normal dry-as-dust way an academic book would have it. The author uses his knowledge and sense of fun to the full, otherwise it would be another case of boring objectivity where you make you're own mind up about how people were feeling at the time during the major cultural change blah-blah-blah. There was always, ALWAYS, something on every page that made me chuckle.

If you have even a passing interest in the world you live in, buy it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Susan Button on 27 Mar. 2009
Format: Paperback
I loved this book and would recommend it highly. I loved the author's style and had a few giggles along the way.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Doing an open university history course, and not having studied history since I left school many years ago I found this ideal as a quick run through of european history - very easy reading. I also have the British History one which is just as good.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 7 reviews
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Making History Interesting! 20 May 2007
By E. Micci - Published on
Format: Paperback
I took AP European History. I used this "for dummies" book in order to prepare myself for the exam. It was one of the few books that I could read without falling asleep. If I would have had this book before I took the class to give myself an idea of where the class was going, I would have saved myself a lot of pain, trouble, and headache.

The most important aspect of this book are the interesting side stories about certain individuals. They make history more personable and sometimes funny.

I would highly recommend this book for anyone interested in a *broad* overview of European History or for someone who is sick of the conventional history books.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Dummy 3 Jan. 2011
By Conor - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Product was pretty good, but with 100s of years of history the number of names/places can get a little overwhelming for the regular dummy.
soooo good. 12 Feb. 2013
By Margie Hughes - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is so excellent. The author's humor makes dull history come alive. This book is preparing us for a tour of Europe next year.
1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Superflous Jokes + Mediocre Historian = Awful Book 8 Dec. 2011
By mrsbouvier - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book is a frustrating failure. The author doesn't seem to have much room for, say, historical DATES, but has more than enough room to put in endless side comments he must have thought were funny. Advice to the author: (A) They're not. They get in the way and they're not even remotely funny. (B) Try focusing on the actual history next time.

I loved Medieval History for Dummies because the author did a great job of relating the facts in an enjoyable way.

Too bad this author couldn't have maintained focus long enough to complete a successful book.
5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Good ...but... 31 Dec. 2007
By melodygoddess - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I read this whole book through; every word. I liked it. It gave an interesting, readable overview of European History. European History covers a long period of time so topics get limited time. That's OK. If I saw a topic which was interesting I can research deeper with other books. Much of European history is bloodshed, bloodshed and more bloodshed.

The topic which raised my eyebrow was the author's treatment of the Inquisition. I'll exagerate for fun: He made it seem as if people were tortured with wet noodles and feathers and the stories about horrific torture have been greatly exaggerated. He says, The stories of horrific acts of torture are popular misconceptions trumped up by a few 16th century Spanish Protestant writers with a grudge, writing under the pseudonym, "Montanus". Lang says, although torture was used; better results were had by questioning. Maybe it's because the Inqusition only gets about 5 small paragraphs in 382 page book that it seems like this whole inquistion thing has been down played.

I've never heard anyone downplay the Inqusition unless they were Catholics or Christians defending their faith.

Lang maybe right. It's just a new viewpoint for me. I'll have to research further. This is the only reason I gave this book a three***.

This downplaying of the Inqusition seems wrong but I may come back and give it a Five*****. An historian shouldn't just pander to the masses and go along with popular misconceptions. They are supposed to educate us about the truth. I simply don't know if what he says about the Inquisition is true since he is the first that I've heard tone it down like this. He does admit that we could have down without it but...

I'm reading Sam Harris' book End of Faith and the stories of torture make me ill and then I read Lang's book and it's like, no biggy, yea a few people were burned at the stake but hey. The contrast in reporting this event is so large. It could be that this is a Dummy book which makes light of everything which is fine...I enjoy that, but Lang does say that the stories of torture are exagerrated, so maybe Sam Harris' book is exaggerated to make us angry about religion???????????????????????
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