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Nineteenth-century: Europe, 1789-1914 (Short Oxford History of Europe) Hardcover – 1 Jul 2000
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Europe underwent colossal political, economic and social change in the long century between the fall of the Bastille in 1789 and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, and this volume in the Short Oxford History of Europe provides an expert and entertaining overview of the principal developments. This is sonic-boom history, with Professor Blanning and his team placing a firm emphasis on the modernising and global transformations at work, although there are important reminders along the way of the persistence of monarchy and the established Church. And for a change, here Europe manifestly includes Britain, which makes for a thoughtful perspective on all manner of comparisons and contrasts. Particularly enjoyable are Niall Ferguson's survey of economic change, spiced with sideline commentary from Dickens and Wagner, and Tony Hopkins' sweep through the history of European imperialism. Readers may find some of the chapters too absorbed with historiography, rather than history, and perhaps everyone pays too much attention to Blanning's dictum that the 19th was the "German century". One wonders what a group of Mediterranean or Eastern European scholars would have made of such a topic. But for a readable history written by specialists The Nineteenth Century is hard to beat. --Miles Taylor --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
...this volume in the Short Oxford History of Europe provides an expert and entertaining overview of the principal developments...for a readable history written by specialists The Nineteenth Century is hard to beat. (Miles Taylor, King's College London) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.See all Product description
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The Nineteenth Century is split into six sections - domestic politics, culture, society, economics, international politics and imperialism - and attempts to be an overview that will appeal to everyone. I found the sections on imperialism, politics & economics the most interesting ... although the most readable sections of the book are the intro and finale written by the editor.
The book contains a really great chronology of the main events during the period. The biblio leaves the reader with plenty of follow up leads. And the publishers also provide pretty detailed maps of Europe and the world at various points along the way.
Faults-wise, there are a few. One, it's not really a blow-by-blow account of the main events. It's more of a big picture or thematic overview and the reader may be susceptible to attention fatigue unless gripped by a need to know. Two, you don't really go away with a real sense of what happened to the world, because of what occurred in 19th century Europe. The linkeages are left for you to fill. Fair enough, but one chapter wouldn't have hurt.
Particularly good in emphasizing that the world did not start in 1945; in order to understand the 20th century we must understand the 19th.
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