In the early twentieth century brutal nation-states such as Mussolini’s Italy, Stalin’s Russia and Hitler’s Germany came to the fore and the twin evils of dictatorship and war ensured the rapid destruction of liberal democracy, market economics and the international order. In contrast, the latter half was concerned with re-thinking and re-shaping these core values which still guide political life after the millennium.
Harold James analyses the failures and achievements of the twentieth century.
The demands of the post-war period, namely the place of Europe in a wider international order are also examined. Features include:
Boxed Case Studies
James lucidly argues that European societies today are dominated by the trend to converge around the principles of democracy, market economics and international integration. He shows that the stability brought by the gradual unwinding of the nation-state and the end of left-right politics have created a Europe ‘reborn’.
"This is an outstanding book. It provides a clear and careful synthesis of the author's very wide reading, but it is also written with a distinctive tone and point of view that will force even well-informed readers to rethink some of their assumptions."
Richard Vinen, author of 'Europe: A History in Fragments'
"Harold James, an eminent Princeton historian, deals expertly with Europe's past century… [explanatory boxes] break up the author's elegant narrative with succinct accounts of the main political ideas… This is not history as seen from a well-mounted telescope; more as glimpsed in a rear view mirror."
‘brilliantly-written and richly-informed… James displays an enviable combination of factual knowledge that is both deep and broad and an economic intuition and social understanding that makes him look in corners others have missed. ‘
Joel Mokyr, EH.NET
1. The First World War. 2. Europe and the World of the Depression. 3. Peace and War: The Failure of the International Order. 4. The Second World War. 5. The Reconstruction of Europe, Western Style. 6. Yalta and Communism: The Reconstruction of Europe, Eastern Style. 7. A Golden Age. 8. The Limits to Growthmanship. 9. Right Step. 10. Malta and Communism: 1989 and the Restoration of Europe. 11. The Return to Europe: The New Politics and the End of the Cold War.