In the introduction to the Oxford Illustrated History of Modern Europe
, T.C.W. Blanning argues that, in many ways, the essence of modern man is that he is self-consciously dynamic. We are attracted to change--it captures the eye much more than stability. This excellent book reveals much about the things that have changed in Europe since 1789--and, just as importantly, the things that have remained constant. The eleven essays in this collection (written by some of the biggest names in the field of European history, such as Princeton's Harold James, U.C. Berkeley's Martin Jay, and Richard Overy of King's College, London) focus on various aspects of European society, from politics and economics to high culture and social structures, and analyze both the changes and the engines of those changes. In his standout essay on the changing nature of warfare, 1789-1918, Hew Strachan argues that this military modernization cannot simply be explained by new technology and that more emphasis must be placed on changing ideas. Strachan and the other authors for the most part eschew jargon and present an authoritative set of essays complemented by over 240 arresting color and black-and-white illustrations. Many of the chapters would be suitable readings for upper-division history courses, and the thorough index, detailed chronology, and suggestions for further reading would be a great help to students. This book is accessible to the general reader while remaining valuable to the scholar--and is immensely readable to boot. --C.B. Delaney
From School Library Journal
YA?Arranged in roughly chronological order, essays discuss the significant aspects of politics, economy, conflicts, culture, and industrialization in Europe from 1750 to 1995. Each chapter is by a different scholar in the field and is approximately 30 pages long. The effects of constant change are evident throughout. Although writing styles vary, the insightful essays are accessible to high school students with some history background. Black-and-white photographs appear adjacent to the text they clarify. Full-color illustrations are placed on plates in relevant chapters. They include buildings, posters, people, paintings, and cartoons. The chronology is especially detailed, which helps students to see the progression or build up to a more significant event. Each author has contributed to the thorough bibliography. Six clear maps trace the changing borders of countries from 1789 to 1995. An excellent resource for AP European history classes.?Claudia Moore, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax,
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.