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Europe: A History [Englisch] [Gebundene Ausgabe]

Norman Davies
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5. Dezember 1996
"In the beginning," writes Norman Davies, "there was no Europe. All there was, for five million years, was a long, sinuous peninsula with no name, set like the figurehead of a ship on the prow of the world's largest land mass. To the west lay the ocean which no one had crossed. To the south lay two enclosed and interlinked seas, sprinkled with islands, inlets, and peninsulas of their own. To the north lay the great polar icecap, expanding and contracting across the ages like some monstrous, freezing jellyfish. To the east lay the land-bridge to the rest of the world, whence all peoples and all civilizations were to come." So begins Davies's magisterial Europe, a master work of history that stretches from the Ice Age to the Atomic Age, as it tells the story of Europe, East and West, from prehistory to the present day.
Davies's absorbing narrative captures the full drama of European history, on a sweeping canvas filled with fascinating detail, analysis, and anecdotes. It is a glorious chronicle packed with momentous events: the rise and fall of Rome, the sweeping invasions of Alaric (leader of the Vandals) and Atilla (leader of the Huns), the Norman conquests of Sicily and England, the Papal struggles for power, the Crusades, the Black Death, the sack of Constantinople, the growth of cities such as Venice, Ghent, London, and Paris, the Renaissance and the Reformation, the Enlightenment and the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, Europe's rise to become the powerhouse of the world, and its eclipse in our own century, following two devastating World Wars. Davies omits nothing. We read not only of the great figures and events of European history--battles, usurpations, tyrants, and saints--but of philosophers, scientists, writers, and artists; the great explorations; the stateless nation and the nation-state. Minority communities, from heretics and lepers to Jews, Romanies, and Muslims, have not been forgotten in this vast tapestry. And Davies has also added 299 "time-capsules," small, self-contained sections that focus intensely on an aspect of an age, to attain a greater sense of immediacy, a sharper picture of life as it was--articles that range from "Erotic Graffiti at Pompeii," to "Stradivarius," to "Psychoanalyzing Hitler." And there are also twelve "snapshots"--fascinating glimpses of moments frozen in time, such as "Knossos 1628 BC," or "Constantinople AD 230," or "Nuremberg 1945." And finally, the book features over one hundred superbly detailed maps and diagrams, and seventy-two black-and-white plates.
Never before has such an ambitious history of Europe been attempted. In range and ambition, originality of structure and glittering style, Norman Davies's Europe represents one of the most important and illuminating histories to be published in recent years.

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  • Gebundene Ausgabe: 1365 Seiten
  • Verlag: Oxford University Press (5. Dezember 1996)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0195209125
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195209129
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 24,2 x 16,5 x 6,7 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.3 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (44 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 143.516 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)

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With Europe: A History, University of London professor Norman Davies has undertaken the near impossible: a synthetic one-volume overview of Europe from prehistory through the present. Remarkably, he has succeeded. Europe: A History is a conventional narrative, proceeding forward in time at a gradually decelerating pace. (The beginning covers millions of years of prehistory, while the final chapter discusses the 46 years between World War II and the book's publication.) But Davies's writing--vigorous, incisive, and confidently knowledgeable--carries the reader along, while the steady sweep of the main narrative is broken up by "capsules," boxed passages examining particular places, customs, or issues that cut across chronological lines. Davies, who has written two books on Polish history, also gives the eastern part of Europe its due coverage, unlike many of his predecessors, and manages to include commoners and the persecuted or ignored in his story along with the mighty and the royal. Europe: A History won't please everybody, but it's a highly intelligent, superbly readable overview that is certain to become a standard text.


"Mr. Davies...describes Europe in all its diversity with immense learning and panache in a book weighing almost two kilos that sweeps from Hellas to the collapse of the Soviet empire."--The Economist

"Stone Age recipes, ancient Greek jokes and the origins of the condom--these are the sorts of small, delectable facts that punctuate Europe: A History.--The Wall Street Journal

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Die hilfreichsten Kundenrezensionen
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen One-volume European history as good as it gets 19. November 1998
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
For anyone to write a book on a topic as sweeping as the history of Europe is bound to be a monumentally daunting task. To write such a history that attempts to be balanced and inclusive is even more difficult. Davies' book is the best European history that I have come across, and I can't see how one could write a better history without covering multiple volumes or including multiple authors.
There are several features of Davies' book that, to me, make it stand out from other histories of Europe. First of all, he begins with, if you will, a "history of European history", describing how the subject has been viewed and written about in the past. He describes how various historical schools of thought have come and gone over the years, thus describing the larger context into which he introduces his history. Davies attempts to write his history without some of the biases that he believes exist in many previous works.
Secondly, Davies tells the story of Europe along several threads, understanding that "European" history is really several parallel and interacting histories of peoples, nations, states, etc. It is only relatively recently that one can really say that there has been a coherent and truly "European" history.
Thirdly, eastern Europe is finally given some due attention. Too many European histories have tended to dwell on northern and/or western parts of the continent. Only someone such as Davies, whose specialty is Polish history, could adequately include the more neglected parts of Europe. I especially liked his telling of the Soviet liberation of Warsaw during the last years of WW2 as contrasted with the Allied liberation of Paris at about the same time. It was definitely an eye-opener.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An amazing achievement 8. Mai 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
The idea of a one-volume history of Europe is thought of as a unheard of among academic circles. However, it is only unheard of among those who have not seen this book. It is an amazing broad sweep of the themes of western civilization. Granted, it doesn't contain EVERYTHING, but its still an invaluble source for anyone researching European history. The sidebars are helpful as well. It is also printed very nicely, in a very contemporaty typeface that is easy to read. NO EYE STRAIN! Is this an academic reference that does not cause eye strain? YES. College students, by this, you'll need it. Professors, buy this, for 27 dollars you can't go wrong.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen An inclusive history of Europe 30. April 1997
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Norman Davies has produced a first-rate history of Europe, the most outstanding characteristic of which is its very inclusiveness. The focus of most traditional histories of Europe lies mainly on the western nations of Europe - France, Britain, Germany, Italy, Spain. Davies, the author of several works on the history of Poland, has managed to create an historical overview of Europe that encompasses all the nation of this most heterogenous of regions.
While one may quibble on fine detail (as a Dane, I naturally looked for fault in the material on Denmark - and found a few), the errors remain trifling and the work itself falls into the category of "must-read" history. The sheer volume of data one must wade through to write convincingly on European history ensures that no work of this character will ever meet with the approval of all readers, however, even if one does not agree with Davies on all points, this book is a solid achievement, massive and well-crafted.
I heartily recommend this history of Europe.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Breathtaking 14. Mai 2000
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
Norman Davies is clearly confident that his view of history in general and history of Europe in particular is more interesting and probably more valid than many others who have approached these topics. I surmise that his view of history is that it is an argument to be waged, about the larger patterns and the more subtle threads, rather than a simple telling of the episodes and icons which later political entities have enshrined into myths that serve the ends of governance. On this score, Davies would not be unique. But in telling the history of Europe with this approach, he has undertaken a topic of so enormous a scope such that the scholarship would have to be breathtakingly manifest and the arguement would have to be breathtakingly persistant and persuasive. And he pulls it off. What emerges is a wonderfully constructed version of European history that seems connected across time and space. I found myself both stimalated and inspired.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Integrating Europe 18. Januar 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
What makes "Europe: A History" particularly attractive to me is that it is not a mechanistic carbon-copy of some recent histories of Europe. It incorporates new research and the new and changing circumstances in which Europe finds itself today. All too often, histories of Europe recite what a few powerful governments have been doing. From Davies's book, one learns what the PEOPLES of Europe have been doing, east and west. Davies's book is innovative in content and form, and it is the first history of Europe in memory to truly integrate Europe. Davies innovates and preserves, an achievement that is rare if not unique among historians. A wonderful tome.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Davies' Fresh Perspective 3. Januar 2000
Von pareto
Format:Gebundene Ausgabe
This is a tour de force. Davies stands the Anglo-Franco-centric stance of most Western historians on its head. He shows how differently history looks when viewed from a German-Austro-Hungarian-Polish perspective. The big threats to Europe did not come from the West but from the East. Where would Europe and America be without the energy expended to resist the Turks, Mongols, and Muscovites? Agincourt looks rather small beer when compared to Zbaraz, Beresteczko and Vienna. Davies gives a fresh look at the importance of Central Europe to our culture and civilization. Nobody who reads this book will ever view the history of Western Civilization the same way.
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4.0 von 5 Sternen sehr ausführlich
Dieses Buch behandelt die Geschichte Europas bis zum Zusammenbruch der Sowjetunion.

Zunächst muss man sich darüber klar sein, was Europa eigentlich sein soll. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 7. Oktober 2011 von Frank Reibold
5.0 von 5 Sternen The ultimative book on European history
The sheer magnitude of the author's knowledge is staggering - this is a life's work. For a history buff like me, this is"an "everything I ever wanted to know and didn't even think... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 10. September 2009 von Martina Darnell
4.0 von 5 Sternen Decent Attempt
Grand synthetic history is usually tough to write, and to read. Davies more or less succeeds in telling the story of "Europe," and it certainly passes muster for the... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 7. Juni 2000 von Mark Nuckols
2.0 von 5 Sternen Davies Misses the Boat
Huge, Dense and Fun in an excruciating kind of way, but Davies assertion that Poland is central to Europe or European culture or tradition (in any sense other than geographical) is... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 25. März 2000 von Hunter
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book needs a spanish portuguese review
I think that this book needs a review of the portuguese and spanish names, for example: Matto Grosso has only one "t", so the correct name is Mato Grosso, page 580. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 18. März 2000 von Paulo
5.0 von 5 Sternen 'Europe' for all Europeans
"I am a candle," said Reason. Love replied: "Brother! I am the sun - so your time comes only when I set. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 4. März 2000 von "zbigniew"
2.0 von 5 Sternen Big book, big subject, big letdown.
Europe is a big book about a big subject. European history is to many Americans an impenetrable subject- much too much information with little idea as to how it all fits together. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 6. Januar 2000 von Michael J. Berquist
5.0 von 5 Sternen Solid piece of work
For a one volume survey of Europe this book is remarkable. Few historians have the breadth of knowledge that Davies posesses, and it shines through with his especially solid... Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 9. Dezember 1999 von James K.
5.0 von 5 Sternen At last - a readable book on History !
Over the past few years I have purchased a few books on History but have always struggled to finish them. Lesen Sie weiter...
Veröffentlicht am 8. Dezember 1999 von Francois Retief
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