Customer Reviews: The Struggle for Europe: The Turbulent History of a Divided Continent 1945 to the Present
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Customer Reviews

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on March 10, 2013
How much do you actually know about Europe post-WWII? If you are like the majority of people you'll know they made it through the Cold War and that they are still around and host an Olympic event every now and then. Hitchcock's "The Struggle for Europe" will open you eyes, will expand your knowledge and will elaborate on all of the deep, burning questions you've ever had about Europe. Sitting down and thinking about my knowledge (even as a history major) prior to reading this book, I am truly shocked at how little I knew.

There is so much here in this book and so much brought to the foreground that it's amazing it all fits together. That's another point I wanted to emphasize. This doesn't read like a textbook, doesn't read like a lecture, doesn't read like anything I've had the chance of diving into before.

You'll absolutely love it, you'll crave the information and you will forever be thankful the veil has been lifted.

5 Informational Stars out of 5!
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on January 10, 2006
Hitchcock's The Struggle for Europe achieves exactly what it sets out to do: provide a clear and easy-to-read synopsis of the events of the last 60 years of European History.

The book opens with a detailed analysis of the postwar period with Britain totally broke, much of Germany destroyed, France & Italy in chaos and Eastern Europe falling into Stalinist control. Hitchock shows the importance that a few key descisions in the late 1940s had on the development of both Western and Eastern Europe for the rest of the century. The economic boom in the West, continued repression in the E, social change, immigration, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the collapse of Yugoslavia, and the European Union all receive a chapter in this, mostly chronological, narrative. Hitchcock does a very good job weaving these disparate events together and providing the reader with a perspective on the forces behind them.

Hitchcock spends most of his time focusing on Germany, Britain, and France. Although Eastern Europe (essentially limited to Poland, Hungery and Czechoslovakia) features in a few chapters and there is a chapter on Spain and Portugal, the book is structures around events in Western Europe. Scandinavia is hardly mentionned and Romania first appears in 1989!

If you are looking to learn about the modern history of Austria, Bulgaria, Sweden, Holland, Greece, etc. you will need to look elsewhere! However, if you are looking for a good survey of European history since the Second World War, The Struggle for Europe delivers with a clear and concise narrative.
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on August 5, 2006
The best thing to be said about Hitchcock's book is probably the worst as well: it is perfectly suited to be an entertaining and accessible textbook for a modern European history class. On the one hand, this means that the book is highly informative and hits on the major issues of high politics in postwar Europe. Hitchcock is very adept at providing enough background to allow readers to fully appreciate the stories he tells, many of which are probably unknown to most. Reading the story of Labor's postwar victory in Britain, or the fairly unheard-of July 1953 uprising in Berlin turns out to be novel and entertaining.

Yet, the book also suffers from some classic schoolbook problems. Hitchcock occasionally gets drowned in reciting facts and figures, which greatly slows the book's fast start. And as the previous reviewer said, the scope of the book is not wide, sticking to the obvious countries and people for the most part. The final chapter on the EU is truly textbook-like, bogged down with bolded terms, long definitions, and slightly out of date. For all the momentum the book builds, it ends with a disappointing whimper that sours the whole experience.

The bottom line is that the book is good, but skippable. For those with a interest in recent European history, it will serve as an excellent and interesting starting point. For those well-steeped in the story of the Continent, it is probably of little use, though the occasional story may provide some novelty.
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on May 19, 2010
This book provides a very good political overview of post-WWII Europe. If you want a better understanding of the reasons for the cold war, this book is worthwhile.
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on April 19, 2015
Very good book. Bought for class but fascinating read in its own right. Great shipping from seller and good condition, as described.
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on August 20, 2014
College student very happy with this book needed for course on the Cold War. Arrived quickly and well packed.
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on December 5, 2015
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