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Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present Hardcover – April 30, 2013

4.2 out of 5 stars 180 ratings

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Editorial Reviews


BBC History Magazine
“Brilliantly successful….Simms has the breadth of knowledge and clarity of vision to make his case compelling. His book is also immensely entertaining as well as instructive. There are few pages not enlivened by sharp insight, telling vignette or memorable turn of phrase. In short, this is a great book and everyone interested in European history will want to read it.”

The Washington Times
“[A] sweeping, intelligent and enormously ambitious book.”

Paul Kennedy, J. Richardson Dilworth Professor of History, Yale University, and author of The Rise and Fall of the Great Powers
Europe is a superb, sure-footed analysis of how this center of world civilization, technology, and warfare evolved since the fall of Constantinople in 1453. It is unabashedly political history, and the better for being so. Simms's acumen and sharp opinions are a joy to read. This book will be appreciated both by the general reader and by history teachers everywhere.”

Timothy Snyder, author of Bloodlands
“World history is German history, and German history is world history.
This is the powerful case made by this gifted historian of Europe, whose expansive erudition revives the proud tradition of the history of geopolitics, and whose immanent moral sensibility reminds us that human choices made in Berlin (and London) today about the future of Europe might be decisive for the future of the world.”

Norman Davies, St. Antony's College, Oxford and Jagiellonian University, Krakow
“European history comes in many guises, but Brendan Simms's strategic and geopolitical approach provides a strong and lucid framework within which everything else fits into place. His emphasis on the centrality of Germany offsets more western-orientated accounts while also giving due prominence to Eastern Europe. Covering the whole of the modern period, this book is more than an excellent introduction; it's a major interpretational achievement.”

Financial Times
Europe is a stimulating, impressive history that starts with the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and extends to the present day….An excellent read and its insights into the grand themes of European history are penetrating and lucidly argued.”

The Telegraph
"Brendan Simms is a historian of unusual range and ability.... His new book is nothing less than a history of Europe over the past 550 years.... Writing such a book is a colossally demanding task – the sort of challenge most sane historians would baulk at, unless they had a very clear idea of what they wanted to say. Luckily, knowing what he wants to say is one of Simms's strengths. For this book is driven by two great master-ideas, and there is hardly a page in it where their presence is not felt. So, no matter how dense the details may be of kings, wars, treaties and governments, the reader always has the exhilarating sense of moving swiftly onwards.... Like all truly powerful and original works, this is a book worth disagreeing with. But above all it is a book worth reading."

The New Statesman
"[An] unrepentantly old-fashioned, lively and erudite history of Europe since 1453.... Ambitious in scope... Simms knows what he is talking about."

The Weekly Standard
"Sweeping and provocative."

Wall Street Journal
“Prodigious….If postmodern scholarship has Ranke spinning in his grave, Mr. Simms's book will give his weary soul some rest…. This is the history of Richelieu, Metternich and Kissinger, not of Luther, Newton and Beethoven. Such a summary may sound arid, but Europe is anything but. In fact, it draws the reader forward with its grand epic of shifting alliances, clashing armies and ambitious statecraft. Simms is a skilled writer with a rare gift for compressed analysis. His focus on the military and diplomatic arc of European history lends his book a strong narrative line and thematic coherence. Patterns emerge that might have remained buried in a more various survey.”

Economist, Favorite Book of the Year
“An original take on Europe's history that shows that German power was a concern long before the country formally came into being in the late 19th century, and perhaps as far back as the mid-1400s. A compelling and provocative thesis that has lessons for politicians today.”

The Economist
“Brendan Simms's new history [is] especially timely. He has, in effect, dropped a big stone into the European pond and stood back to watch the ripples spread…. It is a compelling and provocative thesis…. This is sweeping history, told with verve and panache, and it is all the more refreshing for that.”

About the Author

Brendan Simms is a professor in the History of International Relations and fellow at Peterhouse College, Cambridge. He is the author of eight previous books, including The Longest Afternoon: The 400 Men Who Decided the Battle of Waterloo and Europe: The Struggle for Supremacy, from 1453 to the Present, shortlisted for the Lionel Gelber Prize. He lives in Cambridge, UK.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Basic Books; 1st edition (April 30, 2013)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Hardcover ‏ : ‎ 720 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0465013333
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0465013333
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.22 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.5 x 2.25 x 9 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.2 out of 5 stars 180 ratings

Customer reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5
180 global ratings
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Reviewed in the United States on October 27, 2016
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Reviewed in the United States on November 27, 2013
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Reviewed in the United States on June 21, 2013
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Stewart T
5.0 out of 5 stars Comprehensive
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 25, 2019
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5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on January 18, 2021
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Lester Wong
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth the time to read carefully through
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 14, 2015
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5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent read!
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 10, 2015
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R. Croitoru
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 3, 2017
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