This is a brilliant history book covering a very interesting period up till 1914. This was one of two recommended course books for my humanity course in European History. (The second recommended course book was in fact Age of Extremes, also by the same author.) This book is very thick and I was initially put off, but was pleasantly surprised by how smooth the prose flowed and how articulate the author is. He writes in a very nice style, explaining all the key concepts throughout the book with unobtrusive sprinklings of his owns thoughts. Events that he mentioned were explored with many interesting facts given - you get an insight of the Europe in terms of politics, economics - It is not just an understanding of history events as they unfolded. The book is predominantly about European history with other countries touched upon, as it is about Empire. It might be a bit heavy to get into, but it is a great history book that I'd recommend.