30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on 9 October 2001
The Forging of the Modern State is the type of book that I learned to love. God knows that at first I had a love-hate relationship with Professor Evans! On the face of it, this 'looks' like a difficult book. It is dense, wordy and has so much detail. But, these are all good things of course! By the end of my studies I grew to love the book. It is so crammed full of information that I find it hard to use as much as I would like to!
His chapters are well laid out and offer an overview which is fleshed out as one progresses through the text. The thematic chapters are an innovation. They provide an overview of the important matters of the day. His chapter on class consciousness is quite simply excellent.
Overall, I highly recommed this book. It elucidates the industrial period in the late 18th and 19th century. It contains so much that a few readings are necessary - every reading revealing yet more. Finally, the compendium of information is a marvel to behold.
If you are interested in the period then buy it!
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Evans's Forging of the Modern State is not controversial history, except insofar as it is driven by socio-economic causes that have become old-fashioned. The title says it all, with early industrial Britain having been the background for the forging of a modern political system, over a span of eighty or so years. Most contemporary historians would reject both such a directional interpretation and its materialistic premise. Indeed, Evans adopts a plain style that is far from the more sophisticated categorisations, based on religion and culture, one finds in a Clark or a Hilton. But Evans makes his choices plain in the introduction, which includes interesting historiographical information. He stands by his approach. And the result is an easy to read, manual-style narrative that is perfect for students and non-initiates alike. Fittingly, the appendix contains a useful compendium of information, with such things as maps, economic tables, and cabinet lists, in addition to the chronologies provided in earlier chapters.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on 17 November 2009
First and second year history degree students would fine this helpful. It covers at times an indepth and wide ranging variety of different topics across British history. What is also good is it is digestible! It is accessible too, a god send when sitting for hours researching day in and day out lol. Well worth a consideration, a great overall book that would appeal to many historians out there!