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am 8. Dezember 1999
Over the past few years I have purchased a few books on History but have always struggled to finish them. I read this book (all 1200 pages) from start to finish in a period of 3 weeks and was never bored. I am not an expert in History and never had any higher education in this subject and therefore cannot comment on the accuracy of the material. I often felt that I wanted to know more of certain parts of the history but realize that a complete coverage of this vast topic is impossible in a single book. Probably not a book for 'experts' but if you want a good overview of the history of Europe then you can't ask for much better than this !
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am 10. September 2009
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 to ask...". It's more of a nightstand book than a pageturner, as there is so much information one has to absorb, but neither it is a droll book written for an academic audience. It is interesting, informative and I especially like the in-depth side explanations of various topics (such as what is "Ukraina"). I highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in history.
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am 14. Dezember 1998
I really loved this book, I could hardly put it down, although it was a bit hard to read in the bath. It was one of the most interesting histories of Europe I've ever read, the inclusion of Eastern European content was particularly welcome, as this was an area that I knew almost nothing about. It was a fasinating broad overview of a subject that had appeared to have been picked to death. Humorous, witty and immediate with some novel presentation in the form of the authors information "capsules". Thumbs up from a non-academic.
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am 9. Dezember 1999
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 chapters on premodern Europe. Many readers lament the book's size (which I find much less imposing than the much larger textbooks solely on *Western Europe* that I had to wade through in college) but given the broad, but yet solid treatment (as well as the reasonable price), I think it will be a standard text for many years to come.
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am 1. Februar 1997
The mere size of the book is daunting. But if you think you know European history, you are in for a great surprise. Dr.
Davies backgound scholarship in Russian, Polish and Slovonic history is used to add a dimension to Euorpean history rarely covered by traditional historians. While reviewers of the book found Dr. Davies asides disconcerting, the layman such as myself, found them intriguing. The only
distraction in this massive opus is the overwhelming number of individuals that are mentioned with their birth and death dates. Dr. Davies technique of focusing on a single day in
each chapter as illuminating of the period he just covered,
his prose and insight are spellbinding.

If you want the Grand Tour of Europe this book is an absorbing tour de force. One comes away with a deeper understanding of European history and how it's past is
reflected in today's Europe. When you can read the grand sweep of history of Russia for example, Communism's failure
is a modern replay of Russia's roller coaster past.
Here is a facinating book to read and ponder. If you believe that we relive history by not learning from the past, Europe
A History will strongly reinforce this belief.
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am 12. Juni 1999
Norman Davies' history of Europe is about as close to a masterpiece as one might expect on such a difficult subject. What I found outstanding was his focus on the Eastern and South-Eastern influences on Europe -- not only Poland (Mr. Davies' speciality) but on the demographic movements across the Hungarian plain, and the way in which the Eastern marches influenced Europe over the centuries.
There are errors, of course, and in any case in a work of this size and ambition, what are errors to one reader will be received wisdom to another. But any errors are more than offset by Mr. Davies' style -- spare and elegant, concise and interesting. In terms of style, I think he is up with Gibbon and Braudel.
I give this four stars, because I don't think any work of this reach can entirely succeed. But this is a work that will be around for a long while, on my shelves at any rate.
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am 2. November 1998
This is truly a very useful piece of reference material for anybody doing any kind of studies in European history. True, it doesn't cover everything, but it provides a very useful structure in which to place further information. Also, the author does have a consistant theme running throughout this book that I feel obliged to point to as nobody has thus far. Davies constantly is looking for signs of the development of the idea of a unified "Europe." Davies provides a very insightful look at the way in which the people of Europe saw themselves throughout history. Now, while I must admit that it covers more of the similarities than the differences among the ways in which people view themselves, (really the book's one weakness considering what it set out to do) Davies attempt to reconstruct a picture of daily life through this idea of "Europe" is interesting.
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am 20. April 1997
It sure looks impressive - 1.8 kg anyway. Davis attempts to introduce the part of the European history towards which the West was (and very successfully still is) absolutely ignorant - i.e. the history of so-called Central and Eastern Europe. Nevertheless, everything is focussed upon the basic assumption that the area known as the Western Europe was the centre of the main great ideas of the European development that spread to the other areas. Stereotypes? Definetely. A feel-good-about-yourself-if-you-belong-to-the-West book? No doubts about that. And it is written well for the mass audience that never bothered to learn a bit more in school than necessary and to which the Berlin Wall remains real even when physically removed. But it still deserves a strong 8 as being a good sample of the pop reading material
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am 18. April 1999
It seems to me that those of a generally right of center political persuasion would find J.M. Roberts's book more impressive, as did the reviewer below. Personally, I found Roberts's book a bit too apolegetic, always trying to play up Europe's accomplishments and justify its evils. He also uses sympathetic language for some movements and unsympathetic language for others, notably socialism. No doubt any history book has such subtle expressions of authorial opinion, and maybe Davies's increased converage of Eastern Europe relative to most books is one of them. But, the reviewer below seems not to have noticed Roberts's emphasis on Western Europe. I think this book is a welcome corrective of traditional western oriented European history.
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am 30. September 1998
It is an excellent book, very informative and written interestingly. One of few books that include entire European continent with all participating nations. An honest attempt to present objectively history of that continent. I also liked the concept of capsules with detailed probes into certain points in time and space. After I finished, I decided that it was pity the book was not twice the size! Perhaps we could persuade the author to write one more volume? Capsule named "Genocide" seemed to be misunderstood. I checked the meaning of the word in the Webster's dictionary and than read the capsule again. Everything was correct. Incidentally, writing an opinion about the book one did not buy and read (see below) is meaningless.
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