1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The old good times were violent times.,
This review is from: Violence in Early Modern Europe 1500-1800 (New Approaches to European History) (Paperback)Perhaps History nowadays insists so much in reproducing the economical aspects of past societies that it becomes sometimes rather an abstract overview of life, as if everything depended on the play of the impersonal forces of supply and demand. In this case, the author provides us with a refreshing approach to a somewhat not enough studied phenomenon, that of violence, leading us to abandon the idyllic idea that "any past time was better". With this well documented book he reconstructs some of the least attractive aspects of our ancestors' life, i.e., those related to violence of common life. His goal is to asses the nature and extent of violence in early modern times in Western Europe (basically, England, France, Germany, Italy, the Low Countries, Scandinavia and Spain), to examine its causes and to weigh the reason for its generally decreasing incidence until the 20th century. The period covered (1500 to 1800) has been chosen because of two reasons: 1) to identify slow, but real evolution in the violence of Europeans, individually and collectively, over three centuries; and, 2) "more important, however, our period encompasses an era of extraordinary changes in Western Europe. Social and economic historians have now come to understand that many of these changes had profound impacts on violent behavior and state responses to it, which we will gauge in this book ". I have rated this book four starts. Considering its content, I think it should be five; considering its readability, three.
(1 customer review)