Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century

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9780140241594: Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century

From award-winning historian Mark Mazower, Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century retells the story of a century of division, charting the struggles of rival ideologies to create a new world order for mankind. The end of the First World War saw old empires swept away and the opportunity to build a better society from the ruins. Yet the result was division and bloodshed on an unprecedented scale, as liberal democracy, communism and fascism struggled against one another for mastery of the world. Dark Continent radically overturns the myth of Europe as a safe haven of democracy to redefine our view of the twentieth century. 'Original, thought-provoking, iconoclastic' Frank McLynn, Irish Times 'Fascinating and forceful' Martin Gilbert, Literary Review 'Mazower leaves us, in this wonderful book, with an account of our century that anyone who takes an interest in Europe's present and future will enlarge their mind by reading' John Keegan, Daily Telegraph 'There are few who can walk with A.J.P. Taylor. One is Mark Mazower ... a tour de force' Alex Danchev, TLS 'Combines narrative verve with wise and humane analysis. For anyone who wants to know how Europe came to be the way it is in the years since 1900, this is the work to provide the answers' David Cannadine, Observer Books of the Year Mark Mazower is the author of Inside Hitler's Greece, The Balkans, which won the Wolfson Prize for History, Salonika: City of Ghosts, which won both the Runciman Prize and the Duff Cooper Prize and Hitler's Empire.

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Review:

As the European Union introduces a common currency to world financial markets, Mark Mazower's Dark Continent critically examines the notion of "Europe." The Euro notwithstanding, Mazower argues that the "'Europe' of the European Union may be a promise or a delusion, but it is not a reality." Renouncing the notion of an essential "Europe," Mazower instead explores the conflicts which dominated the continent in the 20th century and the social value systems which informed them.

Mazower orders his examination chronologically, commencing with the collapse of Europe's continental empires following World War I and the initial European experiments in democracy and national self-determination which followed. He continues with analyses of state interventions in family health and the importance of healthy progeny, the financial crisis of the 1920s, the Hitler regime, the transformed democracy that emerged following World War II, the gradual erosion of the social state in the 1980s, and, finally, the collapse of communism. He consistently displays a firm grip of European history, directing his argument to readers with a foundational knowledge of the events that shaped 20th century Europe rather than historical novices unfamiliar with the period. Provocatively insightful, Dark Continent makes a convincing argument for a European 21st century characterized by continuity and harmony through divergence. "If Europeans can give up their desperate desire to find a single, workable definition of themselves," Mazower concludes, "they may come to terms more easily with the diversity and dissension which will be as much their future as their past." --Bertina Loeffler

From the Publisher:

"Mazower's splendid book...makes a convincing case for a different version of 20th-century European history. 'We are quite wrong,' he writes, 'to read the present back into the past, and assume--for instance--that democracy must be rooted deep in Europe's soil.'"--Tony Judt , The New York Times Book Review

"If it's the business of historians to remember what others have forgotten, Mark Mazower
has done his job in Dark Continent."--Roane Carey, Newsday

"Timely, argumentative, and ultimately optimistic; Mazower is particularly good at illuminating the substance of beliefs beneath ideologies."--The New Yorker

"A masterful account of Europe's cursed century . . . Well written, with an excellent grasp of sources in several languages, this is a landmark study for the general reader." --Kirkus Reviews

British reviews:
"Magnificent . . . an elegant plea for the defence of all that is best in the European tradition, and a reminder of what can happen if that trust is broken."--Alexandra Richie, The Observer

"Brilliant but disturbing . . . if this superb book is a frightening reminder of how fragile democrary has been, we have lived through enough events in recent years to know how precious it is too."
--Orlando Figes, The Times

"Mark Mazower has already proved that he is a historian of great gifts . . . In Dark Continent he jumps from the microscopic to the telescopic with breath-taking self-confidence. His bold leap is entirely justified by his acheivement . . . He leaves us, in this wonderful book, with an account of our century that anyone who takes an interest in Europe's present and future will enlarge their minds by reading."        --John Keegan, The Daily Telegraph

"[A] fascinating new polemic about twentieth-century Europe . . . this should be a deservedly popular book."--Mark Archer, Financial Times

"Mark Mazower has provided a rich mixture in his highly individual and intelligent interpretation of Europe's twentieth-century history."--Richard Crampton, The Times Literary Supplement

"It is altogether remarkable that Mark Mazower, one of our brightest young historians, has managed to write about this subject [modern Europe] in such a way that you want to turn the pages . . . valuable and well-written."--Norman Stone, The Guardian

"Exemplary...Written with verve and splendidly argued"--Richard Gott, New Statesman

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Mark Mazower
Verlag: Penguin Books Ltd Jun 1999 (1999)
ISBN 10: 0140241590 ISBN 13: 9780140241594
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Buchbeschreibung Penguin Books Ltd Jun 1999, 1999. Taschenbuch. Buchzustand: Neu. Neuware - A far-reaching political and cultural history of Europe in the twentieth century, which strips away myths and illusions and lays bare the real issues which dominate and typify European politics and society. 'Brilliant but disturbing' Orlando Figes, 'The Times'. 512 pp. Englisch. Artikel-Nr. 9780140241594

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