Shortlisted for the RUSI 2013 Duke of Wellington Medal for Military Literature
From the acclaimed, award-winning author of Dark Continent and Hitler's Empire, comes a visionary, far-reaching history of two centuries of international government that also goes to the heart of current world crises.
In 1815 the shocked and exhausted victors of the decades of fighting that had engulfed Europe for a generation agreed to a new system for keeping the peace. Instead of independent states changing sides, doing deals and betraying one another, a new, collegial 'Concert of Europe' would ensure that the brutal chaos of the Napoleonic Wars never happened again.
Mark Mazower's remarkable new book recreates two centuries of international government - the struggle to spread values and build institutions to bring order to an anarchic and dangerous state system. It shows how what started as a European story became the framework for today's world, as free traders, communists and nationalists all put forward their own radical visions of international harmony.
'A significant contribution to historical scholarship ... Simply for giving us this lucid account, Mazower deserves our gratitude. But Governing the World is also an intriguing read because of the strong argument he places within it ... This new work certainly gave this reviewer an awful lot to think about - to an author, there may be no greater praise than that' Paul Kennedy, Financial Times
'This is a book that needed to be written ... [Governing the World] is truly illuminating ... The story is a fascinating one, and Mazower tells it with authority and verve' Adam Zamoyski, Literary Review
'Mazower has strengthened his claim to be the preeminent historian of a generation. Combining breathtaking originality with meticulous and gloriously eclectic research, he offers the most convincing explanation yet articulated ... On rare occasions, a work of history emerges that not only fundamentally refashions our understanding of the past, it enables us to reassess the present and, with luck, influence our future. I advise everyone who is concerned about our precarious situation to learn from and absorb Mazower's remarkable achievement' Misha Glenny
'Bursting with ideas about present and future as well as past' Stephen Howe, Independent BOOKS OF THE YEAR
'A prodigious work: a master historian's reconstruction of how individuals and nations since 1815 have sought to promote national interests in ever more complicated international settings. A dramatic, novel account of ideas and institutions in collision with hard realities. Indispensable also for its full and subtle account of American policies since 1917, always with a fine touch for the hitherto neglected person or little noticed moment that illuminates historic processes. Profound, relevant, and morally instructive - and a pleasure to read' Fritz Stern
About the author:
Mark Mazower is Ira D.Wallach Professor of World Order Studies and Professor of History Professor of History at Columbia University. He is the author of Hitler's Greece: The Experience of Occupation, 1941-44, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century, The Balkans: A Short History (which won the Wolfson Prize for History), Salonica: City of Ghosts (which won both the Duff Cooper Prize and the Runciman Award) and Hitler's Empire: Nazi Rule in Occupied Europe. He has also taught at Birkbeck College, University of London, Sussex University and Princeton. He lives in New York.