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P. J. T. Brown "edmo" (Palmers Green)

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Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
Postwar: A History of Europe Since 1945
by Tony Judt
Edition: Hardcover

73 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Europe's Guilt, 23 Nov 2005
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Tony Judt's book is a lively and contentious narrative of Postwar Europe from the effects of WW2 right up to the removal of the last statue of Franco in Madrid on March 17th 2005. The key European events covered in detail: Cold War, formation of the European Union, collapse of Communism, war in the Balkans. Weaved through this is a commanding sense of social and political history from a liberal/left perspective.
It is particular strong on film [and TV] which is used to underscore political and social narratives, with plenty of illustrations from memoirs and satire. The grand theme is Europe's collective guilt over the Holocaust and how the different countries have denied, then acknowledged (or not) their roles. This theme is defining for Judt and it will continue to define Europe's collective persona for future generations. On this latter issue Judt's arguments are well illustrated with examples from literature and Europe's intellectuals - both largely ignored by the politicians.
Europe's future will be tested by whether or not it grow towards something more than just a grand market place for the exchange of goods and services.
My only regret is the lack of a thematic bibliography - bibliographical references are within the text at the bottom of the page only.
This is a big read at 830 pages - but it is engrossing

Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany
Witch Craze: Terror and Fantasy in Baroque Germany
by Lyndal Roper
Edition: Hardcover

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It's all in the mind, now., 28 April 2005
Lyndal Roper's book should appeal to both a general and a more specialised audience. Roper tells the story of the progress of the witch trials in Central Europe and Germany in all its sad and gory detail. The only area I would point out in addition to the above publisher's summary is her excellent treatment throughout her analysis of the changing nature of the trials and the progress over 250 years towards a catharsis of emotional, familial and community tensions via fairy tales & psychoanalysis.
The research that has gone into the book is clearly laid out in 70 pages of detailed notes and sources and an additional 18 page bibliography. There is also a thorough index. 66 black and white illustrations back up the text and give important historical details of the towns and the individuals involved, as well as some of the tortures and executions.
In addition Roper's holistic approach is thoroughly satisfying because although she embeds these horrors in the life and times, she never loses site of the individuals who suffered.

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