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Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, 1453 to the Present (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 27. März 2014

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  • Taschenbuch: 720 Seiten
  • Verlag: Penguin (27. März 2014)
  • Sprache: Englisch
  • ISBN-10: 0141037172
  • ISBN-13: 978-0141037172
  • Größe und/oder Gewicht: 13 x 3,2 x 19,8 cm
  • Durchschnittliche Kundenbewertung: 4.5 von 5 Sternen  Alle Rezensionen anzeigen (2 Kundenrezensionen)
  • Amazon Bestseller-Rang: Nr. 15.296 in Fremdsprachige Bücher (Siehe Top 100 in Fremdsprachige Bücher)
  • Komplettes Inhaltsverzeichnis ansehen

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Brendan Simms is a historian of unusual range and ability ... this book is driven by two great master-ideas, and there is hardly a page in it where their presence is not felt ... the reader always has the exhilarating sense of moving swiftly onwards, in a kind of turbocharged Rolls-Royce of historical argumentation ... truly powerful and original (Noel Malcolm Telegraph)

Ought to sit on the desk of every politician, pundit and policy wonk ... [Simms] marshals the great events ... with a breath-stopping assurance. Panoramic, multi-faceted ... sweeping, well-paced narrative ... awesome command. This is top-down European history, diplomatic and political, seen from the soaring eagle's eye. But what an eagle; and what an eye (Boyd Tonkin Independent)

Europe is a superb, sure-footed analysis of how this center of world civilization, technology, and warfare evolved since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It is unabashedly political history, and the better for being so. Simms's acumen and sharp opinions are a joy to read. This book will be appreciated both by the general reader, and by history teachers everywhere (Paul Kennedy)

Brendan Simms's new history [is] especially timely. He has, in effect, dropped a big stone into the European pond and stood back to watch the ripples spread ... Compelling and provocative ... This is sweeping history, told with verve and panache, and it is all the more refreshing for that (Economist)

This is a brilliant and beautifully written history. From the Holy Roman Empire to the Euro, Brendan Simms shows that one of the constant preoccupations of Europeans has always been the geography, the power and the needs of Germany. Europe is a work of extraordinary scholarship delivered with the lightest of touches. It will be essential, absorbing reading for anyone trying to understand both the past and the present of one of the most productive and most dangerous continents on earth (William Shawcross)

A stimulating, impressive history that starts with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and extends to the present day ... perspicacious and flexible ... an excellent read and its insights into the grand themes of European history are penetrating and lucidly argued (Tony Barber Financial Times)

Unrepentantly old-fashioned, lively and erudite ... The book is centrally concerned, rightly, with Germany, which Simms knows at first hand. Its great strength is that you are always reminded that European countries did not grow autonomously ... Europe is very ambitious in scope ... The references are prodigious, multilingual and extremely useful ... Simms knows what he is talking about (Norman Stone New Statesman)

How do you write a history of Europe ... without making it seem like a list of dates? The answer of Brendan Simms in his new book is both simple and brilliantly successful: take a strong thesis and argue it through from start to finish ... Simms has the breadth of knowledge and clarity of vision to make his case compelling. His book is also immensely entertaining as well as instructive. There are few pages not enlivened by sharp insight, telling vignette or memorable turn of phrase. In short, this is a great book and everyone interested in European history will want to read it (Tim Blanning BBC History Magazine)

There is nothing in the recent literature to match it ... Not only has Simms bitten off a huge chunk of history, he has mastered it with style and an awe-inspiring command of the literature ... [a] Herculean feat of synthesis (Josef Joffe Prospect)

Exciting ... In [Simms's] survey of European power politics through six centuries and more, he dissects the economic, social, administrative and religious aspects of the "domestic" life of the states involved ... Simms's eye for the telling detail is shown ... [his] majestic prose flows impressively ... lucid and perceptive (Times Higher Education)

[An] encyclopaedic, ambitious and fluent history of Europe ... [like] a great game of chess, except that as well as black and white pieces there are green, blue, orange and purple ones all moving around a multidimensional board. Place names swirl, battles are won and lost, and the pieces are reordered ... Inevitably readers will be drawn to Simms's fascinating picture of the origins of the European Union ... thoughtful and stimulating (David Abulafia Standpoint)

A tour de force ... With phenomenal surefootedness, [Simms] picks out the patterns in what might otherwise appear a trackless waste of victories, defeats, treaties and coalitions, extracting from them provocative lessons for Europe's present and future. Big ideas animate the book ... This fascinating book deserves a wide readership. Even those who do not share Simms's fears and hopes for the European Union will be enthralled by the brilliance of his analysis and the dizzying breadth of his vision (Christopher Clark Mail on Sunday)

Prodigious ... in its pages whole empires rise and fall ... Europe draws the reader forward with its grand epic of shifting alliances, clashing armies and ambitious statecraft. Mr. Simms ... is a skilled writer with a rare gift for compressed analysis. His focus on the military and diplomatic arc of European history lends his book a strong narrative line and thematic coherence (Jeffrey Collins Wall Street Journal)

European history comes in many guises, but Brendan Simms's strategic and geopolitical approach provides a strong and lucid framework within which everything else fits into place. His emphasis on the centrality of Germany offsets more western-orientated accounts while also giving due prominence to Eastern Europe. Covering the whole of the modern period, this book is more than an excellent introduction; it's a major interpretational achievement (Norman Davies)

World history is German history, and German history is world history. This is the powerful case made by this gifted historian of Europe, whose expansive erudition revives the proud tradition of the history of geopolitics, and whose immanent moral sensibility reminds us that human choices made in Berlin (and London) today about the future of Europe might be decisive for the future of the world (Timothy Snyder (author of Bloodlands))

A tremendous feat ... Simms's pages teem with some of the greatest characters in European history (Dominic Sandbrook Sunday Times)

Remarkably, such a large and complex book ... offers a very straightforward argument and thesis ... The more familiar the story, the more arresting is Simms's repositioning of it ... This isn't simply academic history but an account of how we came to be, albeit ambivalently and conflictedly, involved in a continental narrative that is still unfolding (Sunday Herald)

Über den Autor und weitere Mitwirkende

Brendan Simms is Professor of the History of International Relations at the University of Cambridge. His major books include Unfinest Hour: Britain and the Destruction of Bosnia (shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize) and Three Victories and a Defeat: The Rise and Fall of the First British Empire.

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11 von 12 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Hannelor am 5. August 2013
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Brendan Simms erzählt faktenreich und gut geschrieben die europäische Geschichte seit dem Mittelalter und vertritt dabei die These, dass es im Endeffekt immer ums Deutschland ging - sei es, dass die umliegenden Nationen sich Teile des Reichsgebietes einverleiben wollten oder man die Machtbestrebungen Deutschlands bekämpfen wollte bzw. unter ihnen zu leiden hatte. Diese These ist nicht völlig neu und es ist auch kein Zufall, dass das Buch jetzt erscheint, also zu einem Moment, in dem die Rolle Deutschlands als neuen "Hegemon" (Economist) diskutiert wird. Gerade deshalb ist es interessant zu lesen.
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3 von 3 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich Von Aus_die_Maus am 20. Januar 2015
Format: Taschenbuch Verifizierter Kauf
bei der Lektüre dieses Buches merkt man wieder einmal, wie grottendumm der gewöhnliche Geschichtsunterricht ist und wie absurd es im Grunde daherkommt, wenn man die Geschichte eines Landes isoliert betrachtet, auch oder gerade, wenn es sich um das eigene handelt.

Deutschland, bzw. die vielen deutschen Staaten und Territorien in der Mitte Europas, wird / werden vom 15. Jahrhundert bis zum 20. Jahrhundert unter ständiger Einbeziehung der Interessen der sie umliegenden (Groß-)mächte betrachtet und auf einmal bekommt man einen ganz weiten Blick und die Aha-Momente jagen sich förmlich.

Können Sie sich noch erinnern, als beispielsweise Friedrich Wilhelm IV die Kaiserkrone ablehnte, die ihm in Frankfurt angeboten wurde? Als isolierter Akt mag das großkotzig erscheinen, im weiteren Kontext muß man dem Monarchen für seine Weitsicht danken, denn zum damaligen Zeitpunkt hätte das sofort den Kriegsfall seitens Frankreichs und vermutlich Englands, Rußlands und Habsburgs bedeutet und das wäre Preußens Ende gewesen.

Wer einmal die Tragik der geopolitischen Lage Deutschlands in ihrer ganzen Tragweite begreifen möchte, der greife zu diesem Buch, es wird ihn nicht wieder loslassen.

Wer sich für die aktuelle Fortsetzung interessiert, der greife zum 1998 erschienenen "chessboard" von Z. Breszinski, dann weiß er , was aktuell in Europa gespielt wird, das ist nämlich seitens der USA von langer Hand geplant und vorbereitet worden und wer jetzt schreit "Verschwörungstheorie", wird ein langes Gesicht machen, denn Herr B. war amerikanischer Sicherheitsberater, wir erfahren hier alles aus erster Hand.
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Amazon.com: 76 Rezensionen
81 von 85 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A useful, if thesis-ridden, history of modern Europe. 23. Juni 2013
Von k - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe Verifizierter Kauf
Brendan Simms' book is an interpretation of modern European history and its chronological starting point is the fall of Byzantium. His thesis is that the Germans are the fulcrum of world history and that the last five-hundred years of Europe's history revolve around either attempts to create a universal monarchy based in Central Europe or strenuous efforts to prevent such a thing from being coming into being. The book is thus "old-fashioned" history, concerned with dynastic rivalry (the Hapsburgs vs. everyone else, especially) and, later, Great Power shenanigans both in Europe and overseas. There is relatively little cultural or economic history, such as has dominated European historiography for generations, and he does not waste time dealing with "the status of women" or "respect for minorities." This is realpolitik.

Impressive as it is, the book is not a uniform success. Simms has his hobby-horse and rides it relentlessly. Whatever happens, anywhere, happens because of a contest for the European "Heartland." In this regard, the book, well-researched as it is, constitutes a series of footnotes to Halford Mackinder and his historical mega-theories. ("Whoever controls the world-island," etc.) This sort of grand theorizing is pretty moldy today but early in the last century it was regarded as quite profound. (Arnold Toynbee and Oswald Spengler were two other historians of the "Rise and Fall" school, just as Marx was before them and Paul Kennedy and Jared Diamond are today's keepers of the flame.) It all makes for lofty pronouncements and the occasional sententious PBS mini-series and the sort of people who fall for this sort of thing are usually the same ones who insist that the Roman Empire "fell" because the ancient Romans began using lead water-pipes. In other words -- mostly moonshine.

The first third of the book will confuse most people and the final third will bore them. This is not necessarily the author's fault. It is very difficult for even trained, professional historians to clearly understand the Empire. It is nearly hopeless for the "Guns, Germs and Steel" or Will Durant crowd to attempt. They will try to conceive late medieval politics through the nation-state model and so end up utterly baffled. Simms' basic thesis -- that the Empire was the cockpit of European politics -- is potentially sound enough. But, the Empire was such a godawful political and religious ball of yarn and punched so far below its weight that it was repeatedly reduced to somebody else's battlefield.

Simms is strong in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and the reader will feel more at home here too. Nation-states have emerged as the actors in world-politics and Bismarck always makes for good copy. The most important event in European history between Waterloo and August 1914 was the creation of the German Empire and Simms gives this series of events full credit.

Simms also does an unusually good job of relating non-European developments to his concentration on mittleuropa. Great power rivalry in North America is nicely tied in with Pitt's overall strategy for containing France in the Empire and the Low Countries. But, none of this is news to historians -- although Simms does yeoman's work in providing a good summary.

The last part of the book is just a recapitulation of headlines during the postwar period. Germany, naturally enough, is the cockpit of the East-West rivalry according to Sims and for the era 1939-1955 he is a darn good guide. Where he falls down is with the post-USSR world in which each paragraph might as well begin, "And then, the next day, this is what happened." Anyone who was alive and conversant with public affairs will find little new in the last fifty or so pages of the book.

But, it is great to read 'history" again -- an account of the doings of the Great Powers and the importance of politics in human affairs. True, we do not learn much about the patriarchy of, say, rural Bulgaria in the nineteenth-century and how it oppressed milk-maids, and we don't hear much about capitalist exploitation of iron and steel workers in the Saar. This book is unabashed in its insistence that politics matters and that great power politics matters most of all. After all the retrospective sociology, masquerading as history, that has inundated us for generations, Simms' book is a fount of useful information and narrative.

Simms has given us a solid and utterly useful tome. If he becomes a bit of a Johnny-One-Note, most of us can probably live with it. He has something important to say and even if we dissent from some of it we all will come away from this book better informed and with some questions to ponder.
27 von 27 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
A Great Achievement 26. Mai 2013
Von Eric C. Petersen - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Perhaps most of us think of European (and other) history as a series of events - specific wars, turning points in religion culture, the births of new forms of government, or changes in technology and economic systems. Simms covers all of these factors but his focus is on wars and politics and he brings a unique perception as to how these two are intertwined. There have been periods when conflicts followed each other quickly (18th century) or periods of relative calm - 19th century post Napoleon; however, even when things were "quite" rulers and politicians of all stripes in seemingly all countries were eagerly beavering away for the 500-year period covered in the book about how to improve their geopolitical position against enemies real or perceived, and more than often, "defensive" measures ended up creating just the opposite. Simms does an excellent job of presenting this at-times complex skein of events (where many a time former enemies end up in alliances)in a clear fashion and the book moves right along. I was hesitant to read the last section of post-WWII Europe - that includes the USA and China among others - as I thought "I knew all that stuff." Turns out I didn't, and like earlier periods covered, Simms brings a new perspective to history that should make the reader reconsider how he or she sees the past.
42 von 45 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Continental Drift 14. Mai 2013
Von Robert Taylor Brewer - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
A compendium of European ideals, aspirations, as well as failures, author Brendan Simms goes to extraordinary lengths to create the thesis that once again, the future of Europe flows through Germany. German military strategy, he argues, is today characterized by abstention, not ambition, as in the past. In economic matters too, retrenchment is a workable force in Germany: how long German taxpayers will be willing to fund the financial deficits of its neighbors is one of the more tantalizing questions he raises concerning the future of Europe. He points out that in many quarters, the European Union has become derisively known as a "transfer union", one in which the debts of profligate high spending neighbors get transferred to the Bundesbank. This has happened so often, he argues, it is no longer inconceivable that Germany could, as nations vie to enter the European Union, throw up its hands and exit the Union, re-installing the deutschmark as its national currency. This would leave Germany isolated and alienated, and we know what happened the last time Germany was left to its own devices.

European conflict with Islam in the form of the onset of the Crusades, and responding to changes unleashed by the Arab Spring marks both the beginning and the ending of this book and leads the author to suggest that despite the fast paced technology enabled world we live in, Europe's need for security has never changed. The book has a fast paced, fact filled approach to history that is less concerned with over arching themes and more taken with "action packed" sequences that allow busy readers to breeze through its 534 pages. Appropriate for scholars as well as the general reader.
37 von 42 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
Well done 12. Mai 2013
Von EWebb - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I was very pleasantly surprised here. One might think that a history of 500 years of a continents history written by a professor might be like a textbook.

This couldn't be further from the truth. While this book is centered around the political history of Europe it manages to reflect the culture and essence of Europe as well. I would have liked to have seen a bit more on the effects of religion on all of this but again you're covering 500 years in 700 pages.

The book shows how Europe became and arguably maintains its status as a world superpower when looking at it as a whole rather than separate countries. This shows that while each of these countries are unique there are more similarities than differences and their fates are really intertwined.

This is just an excellent example of how good writing and good editing can allow someone to get a book to cover a long historical period while keeping it engaging and interesting.
6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
An exciting story of endless conflicts as Germany emerges on top of Europe 18. November 2013
Von David H. MacCallum - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Tackling a topic as complex as the history of Europe is without question a daunting task. If European history is anything, it is tumultuous, complicated, angry and frequently frustrating. Millions of its inhabitants died in repetitious wars; national boundaries constantly shifted; nations struggled for supremacy in seemingly endless cycles of hatred. Only in the past century has Europe settled into clearly defined national zones, an ironic fact that still overshadows the attempts within Europe to erase the concept of the nation with the creation of the European Union, still not a fully functioning political organization, and the emergence of a trans-European currency, the Euro.

I approached this history of Europe with great anticipation. Professor Simms' previous work, Three Victories and a Defeat, was an immensely readable history of Great Britain's emergence into a major power in European affairs.

At first, I found Professor Simms' look at the broader history of Europe through five centuries to be difficult since the history of Europe juggles so many royal dynasties, shifts in power, and convoluted power structures. But stay with this. Professor Simms brings the important issues to life and tells the story so clearly that we see Europe develop, as a photograph slowly developing. Perhaps this reflects the incredibly complicated and long course of European history.

This history starts with the reign of Charles V of Spain (1519-1558), a remarkably successful monarch who ruled Spain, most of Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, most of France and much of the American continent. Charles' reign succeeded in almost all respects but the first display of political and military opposition began to emerge in northern Germany and Austria, the seat of the Holy Roman Empire. One hundred years later, France had regained its power and energy and, guided by the masterful Cardinal Richelieu, mounted a powerful military force, gaining adherent states, during the Thirty Years War (1618-1648). The battle lines in Europe became far clearer: the power of the Hapsburg dynasty, which reached its peak with Charles V, receded as France gradually emerged as a military and political power.

The end of the Thirty Years War was capped by the Treaty of Westphalia was, above all else, a recognition of the emerging importance of Germany. The European struggle, which destroyed enormous amounts of property and millions of lives, now reached a virtual stalemate. France emerged as the preeminent political and military force on the Continent.

All of this is prelude to Professor Simms' main preoccupation in this long volume: Germany became central to all else in Europe. Its geographic position in Europe conferred an instant importance to it. It was the balance wheel between France, Russia, the remnants of the Habsburg empire, Britain, and the Muslim powers southeast of Europe. Germany became a power gradually but relentlessly. Its political system began to move away from regional governments and started to coalesce into a national power center, a Reichstag which initially sat at Regensburg.

The story of Europe becomes increasingly the story of the emergence of Germany in every important dimension: politically, militarily, and economically. The reign of Frederick II, starting in 1740, was a brilliant period of consolidation of the German state, first to the south in Silesia and then a victory over the French at Rossbach (1757). The Seven Years War marked the beginning of the end to the Hapsburg-Borboun coalition. This vacuum enabled Germany to become ever more important and eventually dominant in the heart of Europe.

Germany became central to the history of Europe during the 19th century, with the exception of the earliest years of the century when Napoleon was invincible for more than a decade, culminating in the rout of Prussia at Jena in 1806. This victory drew Napoleon closer to the sphere of Russian influence and ultimately to his fatal decision to invade Russia in 1812, a decision which led to the virtual destruction of his army. With France a fading military power, Spain finished as a continental force, Austria too small to sustain a leading position in Europe, Russia safe on the border of Europe, Germany quickly consolidated its position as the leading European state.

This is wonderful history, so well told and organized by Professor Simms. It is terrific history told by a great historian. I must, however, comment on some of this book's mistakes. We are told that England's Glorious Revolution resulted from the attempt to restore British influence in Europe. My reading of this Revolution is that it resulted from the determination of Parliament to exercise control over the political and religious future of the country. The American Revolution, according to Professor Simms, was caused by a desire to create an American Empire. I had always thought that the main reason the colonials rebelled was in reaction to unfair taxes, without any effective voice in their government. Professor Simms believes that the central issue of Andrew Jackson's presidency was foreign affairs. Jackson had many issues on his hands during his presidency but foreign matters were low on his list. He closed the National Bank, saw off an early attempt by South Carolina to leave the Union, and removed native Americans from their lands. Later, Professor Simms briefly discusses the Presidency of George Bush Jnr. The second Bush was not a junior; his name in fact was different from that of his father. These are small objections but a good editing would correct some of this.

Germany remains the centerpiece of Europe, perhaps stronger now than ever before. It is the power wheel in the European economy; its policies affect every other European state. Its ingenuity and energy are the marvel of Europe, if not the world. Does Germany still contain the seeds of disruption? Professor Simms largely ducks this question. We are left without a hint as to what his judgment on this issue might be. My take is that Europe, taken as a whole, is one of many world power centers. The United States, Russia, China and perhaps India are far different today than they were when Germany powered its ascension in Europe.
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