Customer Reviews


9 Reviews
5 star:
 (5)
4 star:    (0)
3 star:    (0)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A distinguished historian's insightful view of Europe
Once again, J.M. Roberts tackles a large historical subject; first, he wrote an excellent history of the world, and now, he has written a history of Europe that is as good, if not better.
Roberts exhibits a remarkable gift for conciseness and generously shares what seems to be vast insight on the history of Europe. Other histories would be very detailed but...
Published on December 3, 1998

versus
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A VAGUE HISTORY
THIS BOOK IS A GENERAL ALMOST PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHICAL DESCRIPTION . IT DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE HARD Facts as a reference volume a book of this length I expected it to give.
Published 10 months ago by Jody B. Franco


Most Helpful First | Newest First

65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A distinguished historian's insightful view of Europe, December 3, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
Once again, J.M. Roberts tackles a large historical subject; first, he wrote an excellent history of the world, and now, he has written a history of Europe that is as good, if not better.
Roberts exhibits a remarkable gift for conciseness and generously shares what seems to be vast insight on the history of Europe. Other histories would be very detailed but Roberts is able to capture the same subtleties with fewer (brilliantly chosen) words and ideas. He quotes some rather obscure but fascinating sources; you feel as if you are in the company of an eminent old historian who has been studying this subject all his life, has read just about everything there is to read on the subject, possesses no illusions or pretentions (he's too old for B.S.), and picks out those few gems of his knowledge that almost no one else knows just to share with you. Roberts really tries to tell it like it is (or was) without mincing words.
The author also goes to a great deal of effort to convey the feel of different periods so that the reader may better understand how historical events were perceived at the time and how they led to subsequent events. True history is not a mere chronicle of events but also the interpretation of those events, then and now. Roberts is keenly aware of this.
I have read both Roberts' book and Norman Davies' "Europe: A History"; both are superb but in different ways. Davies' book is larger and more detailed, and seems to prefer to let the large volume of facts and quoted sources speak for themselves. Roberts seems to prefer a greater emphasis on interpretation and broad insight, something that only a historian of his stature could respectably do. Both are perfectly acceptable methods of writing history. If you want a good reference, pick Davies' book, but for additional explanation of why Europe is the way it is, Roberts' book is highly recommended.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Friendly Giant, April 11, 2000
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
While this whopper of a text admittedly took two years for me to read(off and on), I found it to be splendid, informative, cogent, and lively. Unafraid to take the time to spend a page and a half here and there on relevant non-European issues, it is a global account of the region that most shaped world history, for better or worse. The book is never didactic, taking positions on a variety of controversial issues without fervor, examining all sides of each particular debate. It is quite amazing how Roberts can condense and simplify, without any reductionist gimmicks. This is certainly not Europe for Dummies. For me, it was most compelling during the two World Wars, for through these climactic events, the true "story" of Europe emerges, though pretty it is not. This enjoyable work should please both the history buff and the casual reader as a delightfully complete sampler of all the major European events , since, well, the beginning of time, up to the present.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exceptional coverage of European History, March 16, 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
Roberts is clearly a brilliant historian. He works in much the same manner as a master painter. His History of Europe opens with a near empty canvas; he gives us a strong sense of Europe before the first human foot fell upon it. This opening conveys more than simple geographical and geological facts; it conveys a sense of how the terrain and climate would ultimately sustain life. Through this device, the reader can derive a feeling of premonition, a sense of history yet to come.
What follows is extraordinary. Roberts' coverage of the subject becomes ever more focused, from the very amorphous dawn of European civilization to highlights of individual societies. These are first examined separately and then in parallel, giving the reader a constant and realistically uneven emergence of a modern Europe.
In today's world, where truly exceptional literature and research are rare, Roberts' work is a welcome arrival. It can only be compared to historical works of antiquity or, in more modern eras, the works of Will and Ariel Durant. This is evident in the way that Roberts interweaves the daily life of the average European with major, historical events. In this way, he conveys a vivid picture of Europe and its peoples.
I cannot recommend this book more. Roberts has earned himself a place amongst the likes of Suetonius, Alexis De Tocqueville, and the Durants. His style is both wide in scope and captivating.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


27 of 34 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Author who tackels Big Subjects, January 7, 2000
By 
David N. Reiss (Haymarket, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
First off, J.M. Roberts wrote the large one volume History of the World. This book also has been published by Penguin as The Penguin History of Europe. History history of the world also had a Penguin edition to it.
It is good that Roberts has multipule publishers for both of these works, as they are works that should remain in print for a very long time. I always hate it when I find good stuff that is out of print.
Now, about "A History of Europe". Good work. It focuses more on history after 1800 though. But then, this is what is important to most modern readers. We read to find out some answer to the question of who we are. So, naturally, a general history is going to focus more on later periods that tell us more about who are currently are.
It does cover all the topics of interest. Prehistoric Europe, thru the Classical period of Greece and Rome, up thru the middle ages and into modern times.
Great book to own and read and reread all the time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ||| Poplular Conservative Historian but NOT an Alexis de Tocqoville, June 25, 2013
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
I respond to a reviewer below that Roberts is an Alexis de Tocqoville.

I haven't read this book. I have known Robert's works for a long time, back in England. Robert's was a truly outstanding historian, who unfortunately died rather early.

Roberts was much interested in the impact and spread of European culture. It is well-known that the concept of "Modern World". That is the specific way that the world became goes far back in history to a small locale in England {see Alan MacFarlane's (Cambridge) and Ernest Gellner(LSE, Cambridge)}.

Alexis de Tocqoville's Democracy in America (2 Vols) is a landmark classic in history, economics and anthropology and political science. Writing classic works seems (or perhaps, in principle is) impossible in our times: we cannot write like the past. Because the world has changed. It is in that way that JM Roberts could not be an Alexis de Tocqoville.

Tocqoville's was a specific detailed study of America during a particular period. His work was significant methodologically, the conclusions he drew & so on.

Roberts is summary of world history in a broad sweep.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A VAGUE HISTORY, March 7, 2014
This review is from: A History of Europe (Paperback)
THIS BOOK IS A GENERAL ALMOST PHILOSOPHICAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHICAL DESCRIPTION . IT DOES NOT GIVE YOU THE HARD Facts as a reference volume a book of this length I expected it to give.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars too obselete., November 16, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
It is obselete as a history,due to the date and information written and it was not well edited.More could have been done.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 15 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A History of Europe, February 28, 2013
By 
Todd (BLUE BELL, PA, United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
Garbage. My take: the rants/musings, contorted pontifications, caricatures of a semi-senile, second-rate academic, drunk with popular pseudo-aclaim. Stylistically, it's a syntactic cesspool. To see these characteristics, one, I believe, need only read the first forty-five pages.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


0 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not The Title I ordered, January 4, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: A History of Europe (Hardcover)
I ordered A History Of Europe By J. M. Roberts. I received Europe Inc. What happened?!? I guess I have to deal with returning this book I didn't order back.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

A History of Europe
A History of Europe by J. M. Roberts (Hardcover - December 1, 1997)
Used & New from: $0.73
Add to wishlist See buying options
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.