Europe s Last Summer

Author: David Fromkin
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781409044024
Release Date: 2009-05-27
Genre: History

The Great War not only destroyed the lives of over twenty million soldiers and civilians, it also ushered in a century of huge political and social upheaval, led directly to the Second World War and altered for ever the mechanisms of governments. And yet its causes, both long term and immediate, have continued to be shrouded in mystery. In Europe's Last Summer, David Fromkin reveals a new pattern in the happenings of that fateful July and August, which leads in unexpected directions. Rather than one war, starting with the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, he sees two conflicts, related but not inseparably linked, whose management drew Europe and the world into what The Economist described as early as 1914 as 'perhaps the greatest tragedy in human history'.

Europe s Last Summer

Author: David Fromkin
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307425782
Release Date: 2007-12-18
Genre: History

When war broke out in Europe in 1914, it surprised a European population enjoying the most beautiful summer in memory. For nearly a century since, historians have debated the causes of the war. Some have cited the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand; others have concluded it was unavoidable. In Europe’s Last Summer, David Fromkin provides a different answer: hostilities were commenced deliberately. In a riveting re-creation of the run-up to war, Fromkin shows how German generals, seeing war as inevitable, manipulated events to precipitate a conflict waged on their own terms. Moving deftly between diplomats, generals, and rulers across Europe, he makes the complex diplomatic negotiations accessible and immediate. Examining the actions of individuals amid larger historical forces, this is a gripping historical narrative and a dramatic reassessment of a key moment in the twentieth-century. From the Trade Paperback edition.

Europe s Last Summer

Author: David Fromkin
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375725753
Release Date: 2005
Genre: History

Draws on current scholarship to argue that the hostilities that led to World War I were intentionally started, describing the negotiations and personalities of key leaders that contributed to the failure of diplomacy efforts and offering insights into such current issues as preventative war and terrorism. Reprint. 20,000 first printing.

Postwar

Author: Tony Judt
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781446418024
Release Date: 2011-01-11
Genre: History

Europe in 1945 was prostrate. Much of the continent was devastated by war, mass slaughter, bombing and chaos. Large areas of Eastern Europe were falling under Soviet control, exchanging one despotism for another. Today, the Soviet Union is no more and the democracies of the European Union reach as far as the borders of Russia itself. Postwar tells the rich and complex story of how we got from there to here. Running right up to the Iraq war and the election of Benedict XVI, Postwar makes sense of Europe's recent history and identity, of what Europe is and has been. It is nothing less than a masterpiece. Shortlisted for the Pulitzer and Samuel Johnson Prizes. Winner of the Arthur Ross Book Award.

The Sleepwalkers

Author: Christopher Clark
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780718192952
Release Date: 2012-09-27
Genre: History

The pacy, sensitive and formidably argued history of the causes of the First World War, from acclaimed historian and author Christopher Clark SUNDAY TIMES and INDEPENDENT BOOKS OF THE YEAR 2012 The moments that it took Gavrilo Princip to step forward to the stalled car and shoot dead Franz Ferdinand and his wife were perhaps the most fateful of the modern era. An act of terrorism of staggering efficiency, it fulfilled its every aim: it would liberate Bosnia from Habsburg rule and it created a powerful new Serbia, but it also brought down four great empires, killed millions of men and destroyed a civilization. What made a seemingly prosperous and complacent Europe so vulnerable to the impact of this assassination? In The Sleepwalkers Christopher Clark retells the story of the outbreak of the First World War and its causes. Above all, it shows how the failure to understand the seriousness of the chaotic, near genocidal fighting in the Balkans would drag Europe into catastrophe. Reviews: 'Formidable ... one of the most impressive and stimulating studies of the period ever published' Max Hastings,Sunday Times 'Easily the best book ever written on the subject ... A work of rare beauty that combines meticulous research with sensitive analysis and elegant prose. The enormous weight of its quality inspires amazement and awe ... Academics should take note: Good history can still be a good story' Washington Post 'A lovingly researched work of the highest scholarship. It is hard to believe we will ever see a better narrative of what was perhaps the biggest collective blunder in the history of international relations' Niall Ferguson '[Reading The Sleepwalkers], it is as if a light had been turned on a half-darkened stage of shadowy characters cursing among themselves without reason ... [Clark] demolishes the standard view ... The brilliance of Clark's far-reaching history is that we are able to discern how the past was genuinely prologue ... In conception, steely scholarship and piercing insights, his book is a masterpiece' Harold Evans, New York Times Book Review 'Impeccably researched, provocatively argued and elegantly written ... a model of scholarship' Sunday Times Books of the Year 'Superb ... effectively consigns the old historical consensus to the bin ... It's not often that one has the privilege of reading a book that reforges our understanding of one of the seminal events of world history' Mail Online 'A monumental new volume ... Revelatory, even revolutionary ... Clark has done a masterful job explaining the inexplicable' Boston Globe 'Superb ... One of the great mysteries of history is how Europe's great powers could have stumbled into World War I ... This is the single best book I have read on this important topic' Fareed Zakaria 'A meticulously researched, superbly organized, and handsomely written account Military History Clark is a masterly historian ... His account vividly reconstructs key decision points while deftly sketching the context driving them ... A magisterial work' Wall Street Journal About the author: Christopher Clark is Professor of Modern History at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of St Catharine's College. He is the author of The Politics of Conversion, Kaiser Wilhelm II and Iron Kingdom. Widely praised around the world, Iron Kingdom became a major bestseller. He has been awarded the Officer's Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Dark Continent

Author: Mark Mazower
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307555502
Release Date: 2009-05-20
Genre: History

"A useful, important book that reminds us, at the right time, how hard [European unity] has been, and how much care must be taken to avoid the terrible old temptations." --Los Angeles Times Dark Continent provides an alternative history of the twentieth century, one in which the triumph of democracy was anything but a forgone conclusion and fascism and communism provided rival political solutions that battled and sometimes triumphed in an effort to determine the course the continent would take. Mark Mazower strips away myths that have comforted us since World War II, revealing Europe as an entity constantly engaged in a bloody project of self-invention. Here is a history not of inevitable victories and forward marches, but of narrow squeaks and unexpected twists, where townships boast a bronze of Mussolini on horseback one moment, only to melt it down and recast it as a pair of noble partisans the next. Unflinching, intelligent, Dark Continent provides a provocative vision of Europe's past, present, and future-and confirms Mark Mazower as a historian of valuable gifts. From the Trade Paperback edition.

And the Weak Suffer What They Must

Author: Yanis Varoufakis
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9781473545687
Release Date: 2016-04-07
Genre: Business & Economics

THE SUNDAY TIMES NUMBER 1 BESTSELLER WITH A NEW FOREWORD BY THE AUTHOR A spectre is haunting Europe – the spectre of failed capitalism. In this startling account of Europe’s economic rise and catastrophic fall, Yanis Varoufakis pinpoints the flaws in the European Union’s design – a design that was thought up after the Second World War, and is responsible for Europe’s fragmentation and the resurgence of racist extremism across the Continent. When the financial crisis struck in 2008, the political elite’s response ensured that it would be the weakest citizens of the weakest nations that would pay the price for the bankers’ mistakes. Drawing on his personal experience of negotiations with the eurozone’s financiers, and offering concrete policies to reform Europe, Varoufakis shows how we concocted this mess, and points the way out of it. And The Weak Suffer What They Must? reminds us of our history, in order to save European capitalism and democracy from the abyss.

Russia Against Napoleon

Author: Dominic Lieven
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780141947440
Release Date: 2009-10-01
Genre: History

'A compulsive page-turner ... a triumph of brilliant storytelling ... an instant classic that is an awesome, remarkable and exuberant achievement' Simon Sebag Montefiore Winner of the Wolfson History Prize and shortlisted for the Duff Cooper Prize In the summer of 1812 Napoleon, the master of Europe, marched into Russia with the largest army ever assembled, confident that he would sweep everything before him. Yet less than two years later his empire lay in ruins, and Russia had triumphed. This is the first history to explore in depth Russia's crucial role in the Napoleonic Wars, re-creating the epic battle between two empires as never before. Dominic Lieven writes with great panache and insight to describe from the Russians' viewpoint how they went from retreat, defeat and the burning of Moscow to becoming the new liberators of Europe; the consequences of which could not have been more important. Ultimately this book shows, memorably and brilliantly, Russia embarking on its strange, central role in Europe's existence, as both threat and protector - a role that continues, in all its complexity, into our own lifetimes.

Europe s Last Chance

Author: Guy Verhofstadt
Publisher: Hachette UK
ISBN: 9780465096862
Release Date: 2017-01-03
Genre: Political Science

In the heart of Europe's current crisis, one of the continent's foremost statesmen issues a clarion call to radically remake the European Union in the mold of the United States' own federal government Europe is caught in its greatest crisis since the Second World War. The catalog of ills seems endless: an economic crisis spread through most of Europe's Mediterranean tier that has crippled Greece and driven a wedge between northern and southern Europe; terrorist attacks in Paris, Cologne, Brussels, and Nice; growing aggression from Russia in Ukraine and the Baltic states; and refugees escaping war-torn neighbors. The European Union's inability to handle any of these disasters was a driving factor in Great Britain voting to leave, and others may soon follow. The result won't just be a continent in turmoil, but also a serious threat to American and British security-the Atlantic, let alone the Channel, simply isn't big enough to keep European troubles in Europe. For everyone's sake, Europe must survive. The question is how. In Europe's Last Chance, Guy Verhofstadt-former prime minister of Belgium and current leader of the liberal faction in the European Parliament-provides the essential framework for understanding Europe today, laying bare the absurdity of a system in which each member state can veto legislation, opt in or out of the Euro, or close borders on a whim. But Verhofstadt does not just indict the European Union, he also offers a powerful vision for how the continent can change for the better. The key, argues Verhofstadt, is to reform the European Union along the lines of America's federal government: a United States of Europe strong enough to stand with the United States of America in making a better, safer world. A visionary book from one of today's luminaries of European leadership, Europe's Last Chance is a clarion call to save the European Union, one of the world's greatest chances for peace and prosperity.

Ostend

Author: Volker Weidermann
Publisher: Pantheon
ISBN: 9781101870273
Release Date: 2016-01-26
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

It’s the summer of 1936, and the writer Stefan Zweig is in crisis. His German publisher no longer wants him, his marriage is collapsing, and his house in Austria—searched by the police two years earlier—no longer feels like home. He’s been dreaming of Ostend, the Belgian beach town that is a paradise of promenades, parasols, and old friends. So he journeys there with his lover, Lotte Altmann, and reunites with fellow writer and semi-estranged close friend Joseph Roth, who is himself about to fall in love. For a moment, they create a fragile haven. But as Europe begins to crumble around them, the writers find themselves trapped on vacation, in exile, watching the world burn. In Ostend, Volker Weidermann lyrically recounts “the summer before the dark,” when a coterie of artists, intellectuals, drunks, revolutionaries, and madmen found themselves in limbo while Europe teetered on the edge of fascism and total war. Ostend is the true story of two of the twentieth century’s great writers, written with a novelist’s eye for pacing, chronology, and language—a dazzling work of historical nonfiction. (Translated from the German by Carol Brown Janeway) From the Hardcover edition.

Secondhand Time

Author: Svetlana Alexievich
Publisher: Random House
ISBN: 9780399588815
Release Date: 2016-05-24
Genre: History

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • The magnum opus and latest work from Svetlana Alexievich, the 2015 winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature—a symphonic oral history about the disintegration of the Soviet Union and the emergence of a new Russia NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND PUBLISHERS WEEKLY • LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE WINNER NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The New York Times • The Washington Post • The Boston Globe • The Wall Street Journal • NPR • Financial Times • Kirkus Reviews When the Swedish Academy awarded Svetlana Alexievich the Nobel Prize, it cited her for inventing “a new kind of literary genre,” describing her work as “a history of emotions—a history of the soul.” Alexievich’s distinctive documentary style, combining extended individual monologues with a collage of voices, records the stories of ordinary women and men who are rarely given the opportunity to speak, whose experiences are often lost in the official histories of the nation. In Secondhand Time, Alexievich chronicles the demise of communism. Everyday Russian citizens recount the past thirty years, showing us what life was like during the fall of the Soviet Union and what it’s like to live in the new Russia left in its wake. Through interviews spanning 1991 to 2012, Alexievich takes us behind the propaganda and contrived media accounts, giving us a panoramic portrait of contemporary Russia and Russians who still carry memories of oppression, terror, famine, massacres—but also of pride in their country, hope for the future, and a belief that everyone was working and fighting together to bring about a utopia. Here is an account of life in the aftermath of an idea so powerful it once dominated a third of the world. A magnificent tapestry of the sorrows and triumphs of the human spirit woven by a master, Secondhand Time tells the stories that together make up the true history of a nation. “Through the voices of those who confided in her,” The Nation writes, “Alexievich tells us about human nature, about our dreams, our choices, about good and evil—in a word, about ourselves.” Praise for Svetlana Alexievich and Secondhand Time “The nonfiction volume that has done the most to deepen the emotional understanding of Russia during and after the collapse of the Soviet Union of late is Svetlana Alexievich’s oral history Secondhand Time.”—David Remnick, The New Yorker “Like the greatest works of fiction, Secondhand Time is a comprehensive and unflinching exploration of the human condition. . . . In its scope and wisdom, Secondhand Time is comparable to War and Peace.”—The Wall Street Journal “Already hailed as a masterpiece across Europe, Secondhand Time is an intimate portrait of a country yearning for meaning after the sudden lurch from Communism to capitalism in the 1990s plunged it into existential crisis.”—The New York Times “This is the kind of history, otherwise almost unacknowledged by today’s dictatorships, that matters.”—The Christian Science Monitor “In this spellbinding book, Svetlana Alexievich orchestrates a rich symphony of Russian voices telling their stories of love and death, joy and sorrow, as they try to make sense of the twentieth century.”—J. M. Coetzee

In The Time Of The Americans

Author: David Fromkin
Publisher: Vintage
ISBN: 9780307766069
Release Date: 2013-01-23
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

Coming of age during World War I and attaining their finest hour in World War II and the Cold War, these men -- FDR, Truman, Eisenhower, Marshall, MacArthur -- transformed America from an isolated frontier nation into a global superpower. As he tells their stories, Fromkin, author of A Peace to End All Peace, shows how this generation not only made America great but largely succeeded in making it a force for good.

July 1914

Author: Sean McMeekin
Publisher: Icon Books Ltd
ISBN: 9781848316096
Release Date: 2013-07-04
Genre: History

The outbreak of the First World War was ‘a drama never surpassed’. One hundred years later, the characters still seem larger than life: Archduke Franz Ferdinand, brooding heir to the Habsburg throne; the fanatical Bosnian Serb assassins who plot to murder him; Conrad and Berchtold, the Austrians who exploit the outrage; Kaiser Wilhelm and Bethmann Hollweg, backing up the Austrians; Sazonov, Russian Foreign Minister, trying to live down a reputation for cowardice; Poincaré and Paléologue, two French statesmen who urge on the Russians; and not least Winston Churchill, who, alone among Cabinet officials in London, perceives the seriousness of the situation in time to take action. July 1914 tells the story of Europe’s countdown to war through the eyes of these men, between the bloody opening act on 28 June 1914 and Britain’s final plunge on 4 August, which turned a European conflict into a world war. The outbreak of war was no accident of fate. Individual statesmen, pursuing real objectives, conjured up the conflict – in some cases by conscious intention. While some sought honourably to defuse tensions, others all but oozed with malice as they rigged the decks for war. Dramatic, inevitably tense and almost forensically observed, Sean McMeekin’s unique book retells the story of that cataclysmic month, making clear as never before who was responsible for the catastrophe. You will never think the same way again about the origins of the First World War.

A Nervous Splendor

Author: Frederic Morton
Publisher: Diversion Books
ISBN: 9781626813953
Release Date: 2014-10-21
Genre: Biography & Autobiography

A National Book Award Finalist from the bestselling Frederic Morton "Frederic Morton's A NERVOUS SPLENDOR is my favorite book about Vienna." —John Irving On January 30, 1889, at the champagne-splashed height of the Viennese Carnival, the handsome and charming Crown Prince Rudolf shot and killed his teenage mistress and then himself in a suicide pact. The two shots that rang out at Mayerling in the Vienna Woods echo still. Frederic Morton, author of the bestselling THE ROTHSCHILDS, deftly tells the haunting story of the Prince and his city, where, in the span of only ten months, "the Western dream started to go wrong." Other young men with striking intellectual and artistic talents—and all as frustrated as the Prince—moved through his Vienna. Among them were a young Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Theodor Herzl, Gustav Klimt, and the playwright Arthur Schnitzler, whose La Ronde was the great erotic drama of the fin de siecle.

To Hell and Back

Author: Ian Kershaw
Publisher: Penguin UK
ISBN: 9780241187159
Release Date: 2015-09-24
Genre: History

TELEGRAPH BOOKS OF THE YEAR AND EDITOR'S CHOICE 2015 In the summer of 1914 most of Europe plunged into a war so catastrophic that it unhinged the continent's politics and beliefs in a way that took generations to recover from. The disaster terrified its survivors, shocked that a civilization that had blandly assumed itself to be a model for the rest of the world had collapsed into a chaotic savagery beyond any comparison. In 1939 Europeans would initiate a second conflict that managed to be even worse - a war in which the killing of civilians was central and which culminated in the Holocaust. To Hell and Back tells this story with humanity, flair and originality. Kershaw gives a compelling narrative of events, but he also wrestles with the most difficult issues that the events raise - with what it meant for the Europeans who initiated and lived through such fearful times - and what this means for us.