978-0-19-873135-1 / 9780198731351

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About the book:

Europe underwent colossal political, economic and social change in the long century between the fall of the Bastille in 1789 and the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, and this volume in the Short Oxford History of Europe provides an expert and entertaining overview of the principal developments. This is sonic-boom history, with Professor Blanning and his team placing a firm emphasis on the modernising and global transformations at work, although there are important reminders along the way of the persistence of monarchy and the established Church. And for a change, here Europe manifestly includes Britain, which makes for a thoughtful perspective on all manner of comparisons and contrasts. Particularly enjoyable are Niall Ferguson's survey of economic change, spiced with sideline commentary from Dickens and Wagner, and Tony Hopkins' sweep through the history of European imperialism. Readers may find some of the chapters too absorbed with historiography, rather than history, and perhaps everyone pays too much attention to Blanning's dictum that the 19th was the "German century". One wonders what a group of Mediterranean or Eastern European scholars would have made of such a topic. But for a readable history written by specialists The Nineteenth Century is hard to beat. --Miles Taylor

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