Europe A History MOBI ✓ Europe A PDF or

Europe A History MOBI ✓ Europe A PDF or

  • Hardcover
  • 1406 pages
  • Europe A History
  • Norman Davies
  • 21 August 2016
  • 9788324000043

10 thoughts on “Europe A History

  1. Betty Ho Betty Ho says:

    It took me 2 months to struggle through the first half of the book with numerous side readings wiki movies To make sure I've got a clear picture I even created a timeline with 300 events from pre history to reformation and also hundreds of dots on my Google map Once all the puzzles came together I can breeze through the remaining 50% with great satisfaction

  2. Rob Rob says:

    I read this on a Kindle which in terms of sheer logistics is the best way to read a 1392 page book A book book of this size is just too uncomfortable to read in any other way The Kindle came into its own especially with its notes and highlights features1392 pages too little to cover 3 or 4000 years of complex history of a continent? 1392 pages too many pages to not be bored or overwhelmed with information? Davies did this by not writing a conventional history By conventional I mean not by chronology alone He certainly starts at the start with neolithic peoples but he also starts by uestioning what is Europe? He does a fair bit of historiography throughout uestioning assumptions and reviewing what the profession thinks about certain issues and controversies For instance he looks at the basis of Classical Greek civilisation reviewing the Black Athena thesis and dismissing itWhat Davies does is write stories some very opinionated He writes stories about important aspects of European history For instance when writing about the Roman class system he mentions slavery and goes off on a tangent about the history of slavery in Europe and then he comes back to Rome There is the problem of what sort of reader would like this book If you're a history buff why reread all the stuff you have read before and if you aren't a history buff why pick up a nearly 1400 page history book in the first place The simple answer is gaps and connections Everyone has a gap in their knowledge and Davies sees connections where most don'tDavies is an Eastern European specialist so he brings that insight into the book He sees the interconnections between Western and Eastern Europe and how they formed He gives space and credit to Byzantium and Orthodox Christianity I knew nothing of Byzantium until I was about 15 I suspect most English speaking CatholicProtestant people are the same Before this book I knew nothing of the history of Poland Does the average person know why Poland had a large Jewish population? Well the reason is that when Europe was ripping itself to pieces over religion in the 16th and 17th Poland had a conscious policy of religious freedom and toleration so the Jews of Europe came and settled in a land that did not persecute them It was only in the 19th Century with Poland split and the pressure of Czarist Orthodoxy that the idea of a real Pole being a Catholic came into play I would highly recommend this book both for the specialist and the lay reader I can see one potential untapped market with the rise of China and India It is uirky in style and opinionated but it is well written

  3. Jan Hidders Jan Hidders says:

    A very big read indeed but worth every minute you spend on it The author makes a big point of treating the history of the whole of Europe not just the Western part and I agree with the author that such a treatment has been long overdue The book is great as an overview work but can also be used to fill in some of the gaps in your historical knowledge especially about Eastern Europe since it also goes into some detail However it is not an introductory work and often assumes that you already know a thing or twoI like the writing style of the author which really can draw you in sometimes but he also sometimes gets a bit lost in theoretical musings or gives too much irrelevant detail such as lists of kings battles and dates Here and there he also tries to keep up the pace by skipping on the basic explanations for the reader who isn't familiar with the specific period and region Having said this this is still simply the best work on the subject I've read both in depth and comprehensiveness as well as in readability

  4. Marc Marc says:

    What an impressive book Even after all those years this work still stands Davies Eastern European speciality adds decisive information and corrects our classic view on European history Also see my review in my Sense of History account

  5. Roy Lotz Roy Lotz says:

    Can one narrate time—time as such in and of itself? Most certainly not what a foolish undertaking that would be The story would go “Time passed ran on flowed in a mighty stream” and on and on in the same vein No one with any common sense could call that a narrative—Thomas Mann The Magic MountainPersonal PrefaceLately I have been thinking a lot about time Well perhaps thinking isn’t the right word; I’ve been worrying Ever since I moved to Spain time has been a problem What’s the proper time to eat? When do people sleep here? How long will my job last? What about my visa? Multiple clocks beset me counting down and counting upBeyond my petty troubles I have been thinking about time as an experience how monotony speeds up the clock’s hand variety slows it down and nothing can stop it I have been thinking about the inexorability of time every passing second is irretrievable every yesterday is irrecoverable I have been spending a lot of time remembering connecting my past with my present if only artificially and wondering how much the act of remembering itself distorts my memories And in a Proustian mood I have wondered whether a tremendous act of remembrance is the only defense we have against the ceaseless tide of timeIn the midst of our mundane concerns it is all too easy to forget to remember But is it crucial to remember; otherwise life can go by without us noticing This is why we celebrate birthdays Logically it is silly to think that you turn from one age to another all at once; of course we get older every day We celebrate birthdays to force ourselves to reflect on the past year on how we have spent our time and chillingly on how much time we have left This reflection can help us assess what to do next Birthdays are just one example In general I have been finding it increasingly important to focus on these cycles when a milestone is reached when a process is completed moments when the past is forcefully juxtaposed with the present Finishing Norman Davies’s Europe was one such moment for me and an important one I first heard of the book from an old copy of National Geographic; it was in an article discussing the recent introduction of the euro in 1999 a historic step in European unity Davies’s book had just been published the year before and the reporter had interviewed Davies about his thoughts on the future of EuropeI read this article right as my love of reading began to blossom Thus I dutifully underlined the name of Davies’s book hoping to buy and read it some time in the future But it was years until I finally bought a copy; and still years before I finally started reading When I first heard of the book I would never have imagined that I would finally read it many years later in Europe But here I am and it feels greatThe ReviewNorman Davies’s Europe is an attempt to write a survey history of Europe in one volume from prehistoric times to the dissolution of the Soviet Union covering both Western and Eastern Europe It’s an ambitious project As you can imagine an enormous amount of selection and compression was necessary in order to fit all this material into one volume Luckily Davies is adept at both of these skills; unfortunately the book is still too big to carry around It is big fat and heavy thick enough to stop a bullet hefty enough to knock someone out coldIn terms of content the book is both longer and shorter than it appears Of the nearly 1400 pages only about 1140 are actual history; the rest is given over to his notes the index and a lengthy series of appendices on subjects ranging from the standard canon of opera to death tolls in the Second World War to the life course of an Austrian peasant household Nevertheless the pages are dense with text in small font and with narrow margins; and the pages themselves are uite big Moreover owing to the huge amount of territory Davies covers the book is almost nauseatingly packed with information every page a summary of whole books It isn’t the sort of thing you can breeze throughDavies begins with a pugnacious introduction in which he denounces all of his forbearers For him attempts to write European history have all fallen into various traps by focusing too much on the ‘Great Books’ by their excessive length or by their neglect of Eastern Europe Davies snubs his nose at specialization and wags his finger at academic fads; he bashes both the traditionalists and the radicals I personally found this introduction to be an interesting read but it does seem out of place in a book for the general readerFor all that talk you’d think Davies’s treatment would be highly heterodox But that’s not the case After an obligatory chapter on prehistory he goes into a chapter on Greece then Rome then the Middle Ages and so on And even though one of his major bones of contention is the erstwhile disregard for Eastern Europe he generally spends far time on Western EuropeThe chapters increase in length as they approach the future becoming progressively detailed For example Aristotle and Plato must share one measly paragraph between them but Gorbachev is given a dozen pages As a result the book gets interesting the further you read The coverage is only so so for the ancient world; uite good for the Medieval period; and becomes really gripping by the 19th century Davies attempts to cover all the major developments but of course his space is limited He sketches the historical individuals when necessary but this is certainly not a “Great Man” telling of history For the most part Davies focuses on economic political social and cultural history while paying less attention to intellectual and art history Among the arts he is strong on music but weak on painting sculpture and architectureThe main narrative is broken up by what Davies calls ‘capsules’ These are mini essays ranging from half a page to two pages on a variety of topics that interested Davies; they are set aside in their own boxes interrupting the flow of the main text This was Davies’s attempt to give extra color to his narrative by focusing on little parts of the story that would otherwise be ignored But I had mixed feelings about the idea Half of the capsules were fascinating but I thought many were uninspiring And it was annoying to constantly be having to put the main narrative on hold read a little essay and then return where I left off I thought it would have been a much better idea if he had left the capsules out completely developed them into full length essays and then released them in their own book I’d read itDavies is a writer of high caliber He can adapt his style to any subject His prose although largely devoid of flourish is consistently strong In short he has achieved that allusive aim of popular history writers to inform and entertain in one breath Seldom does he come across as seriously biased; but he is not afraid to be opinionated at times which adds a nice touch of spice to the book “Chamberlain’s three rounds with Hitler must ualify as one of the most degrading capitulations in history Under pressure from the ruthless the clueless combined with the spineless to achieve the worthless”I did catch two errors worth noting First Davies says that Dante called Virgil “The master of those who know” when that epithet was really applied to Aristotle Second in the same sentence Davies calls Picasso who was born in Andalusia a “Catalan exile” but he calls Dalí who was born in Catalonia a “Spaniard” There were probably many errors that I couldn’t catch but in general the information seemed reliableAlthough this book is a survey history Davies does have one central concern the European identity What does it mean to be a European? Davies doesn’t give any simple answers to this uestion but instead traces how the European identity evolved through time The reason for his concern is obvious The Soviet bloc had only recently been dismantled and now the European Union was faced with the task of dealing with these newly freed states Davies himself appears to be strongly pro Union; and in that light this history of both Western and Eastern Europe can be seen as an attempt to give the people’s of Europe a shared past in the hopes that they might embrace a shared futureIt was a bit strange to be finishing this book now I can still remember the hopeful enthusiastic tone of that National Geographic article about the new euro People must have felt that they were entering a new age of European unity Now the United Kingdom is threatening to leave the European Union and several other countries are grumbling The future as always is in doubtAfterthoughtI finished the book on April 23 which is Book Day here in Spain Yesterday was the 400th anniversary of Cervantes’s death; and today is the same anniversary for Shakespeare To celebrate I went to the Circulo de Bellas Artes where they were having a public reading of Don uixote Everyday people old and young were lined up in an auditorium to read a page from that great masterpiece; it will go on for 48 hours After that I walked to the Cervantes exhibition in the National Library where they have dozens of old manuscripts of Cervantes and his contemporaries on display From there I walked to the Convent of the Barefoot Trinitarians where Cervantes was buriedI am celebrating the completion of a cycle and so is Spain The past is alive and well in Europe

  6. Gator Gator says:

    First thing that comes to mind that I’d like to share is this if you plan on reading Europe you need to set aside a large chunk of time Europe reuires determination and commitment it’s a huge book small font full pages top to bottom side to side Second thing is how valuable a book it is Davies gives a wonderful Macro look over the entirety of Europe as we know it from the ice age to its publication in the late 90’s This book was mind expanding and it was exactly what I was looking for it uenched my thirst on the topic of history beyond satisfactorily I won’t lie the damn book is so heavy in subject matter there were times I was ready to give up on it because the task that lie before me was so daunting and I knew it would take me months to finish but I just kept on keeping on and almost 2 months later I completed one of the most informative books I’ve ever read I highly recommend tackling Europe if you have time and think you’re ready do it

  7. Pete Sikora Pete Sikora says:

    Davies specializes in Polish history and WWII but took on a continent sized task The result is a haphazardly organized mish mash that loses its way just as its subject emerges as a concept in the 17th and 18th centuries We get a lot of Eastern European history at the expense of understanding other nations My Polish background makes that fine by me However by writing too many books historians run a danger the need to recycle material Europe is proof At 1136 pages plus loads of appendixes it's a massive tome It would have been nice to see modern history as usual for sweeping histories the last 50 years are covered in the last 50 pages Europe after all is a modern phenomenon There was no Europe at all in ancient times or the middle ages either Heck they didn't even have the shape of the continent mapped Not to mention that it's barely even a real continent anyway On some level therefore the book is untrue to its title It's really a history of the geographic area we now know as Europe That's a uibble tho I hate those dang titles anyway so who am I to complain Still it should have been focused on the modern worldOn the other hand it's a good stab at a difficult impossible?synthesis If Davies were a better writer it'd be really solid a 4 I also suspect that he doesn't really know what he's talking about vis a vis anything other than Eastern Europe So he can't uite pull it off3 side points1 the book was written at the height of PC academia Davies is a tad defensive albeit understandably2 the short breakout segments don't work they're not compelling enough and as a result are distracting of the narrative not illuminating Just like say these 2 points stuck into the middle of this review3 he makes some attempts to comment on the convergence of communist and fascist ideology Should have stuck to the history and avoided the philosophy because it's a superficial attempt and serves the reader poorly We get that they both were bad real bad No need to try to prove they're basically the same thing when the governing systems were radically differentBut again tough subject and I kept reading There's real merit to taking on the topic A little grading on the curve is merited Kudos to Davies for making the attempt 3 stars

  8. Liviu Liviu says:


  9. John Lucy John Lucy says:

    Unless you know a whole lot about Europe already this is a great book to read for the curious lay person and intellectual or for the student It's long clearly but very much worth it as a book to read on the side I'm a firm believer that histories should neither be told as stories or as simply a collection of facts but something in between Davies does it to near perfection The writing is smooth and easily understandable for all And to his great credit Davies tries hard at writing the history without cultural biases or scholarly biases of any sort obviously this is nearly impossible to do and Davies admits as much in his introduction which is a great piece of writing in its own right For people who don't like or don't care about history the introduction alone is worth reading Yet Davies does not fall into the modern trip either of exhibiting how evil the good guys actually were the good guys are shown as good and bad and the bad guys are shown as bad and good the facts are given the most weight and various forms of historical interpretation are offered though Davies does always give his own conclusions as well The end result is that a reader from any country the US included can feel proud and embarrassed of their country's exploits with a mostly balanced reading of historyIn 1200 pages Davies does an excellent job of compacting the whole of Europe's history with a strong emphasis on modern history All eras are covered but the closer to today the attention Davies gives For the lay person perhaps the best trait of the history are the many capsules throughout that do not and would not fit into the historical narrative but cite interesting tidbits of historical knowledge particularly cultural knowledge for instance ever wonder how vampire legends began? Like the introduction the capsules are a good means for people who claim to not care about or like history to understand how fun history can be by learning from where certain cultural phenomenons come Smaller histories are likely to accrue the criticism of having left out material while longer histories are often considered unreadable and still receive the criticism of leaving out material While all historians are susceptible to bias by inclusion or exclusion it would be hard for anyone but a specialist scholar to point out where Davies does not include relevant material As someone with a fairly good knowledge of European history going into the reading of this book it's easy to say that Davies includes all the major and minor points of history and then some The only problem is that Davies sometimes includes pieces of information by merely referencing it as if he expects the reader to already know what he's talking about Similarly Davies is to his credit clearly attempting to write a history of Europe for Europeans and Americans and not for only one language group though he is writing in English What this means is that he often uotes poetry and other things in the native language which is great but then at times does not translate which is not great either expecting the reader to know French Russian German and Italian particularly or not caring at all about the reader In the same vein Davies uses the actual spelling of historical figures' names rather than any accepted Anglicized versions of the names and rarely explains This is particularly an issue at the beginning of the history with the Romans and Greeks but continues to be an issue all the way through to approximately the Renaissance portion of the history Most of the time the reader will figure it out it would be hard to mistake Julius Caesar given how much space he receives and that his story should be fairly recognizable for anyone sometimes a less knowledgeable reader will come across a previously unknown figure and then be taught a spelling that many others wouldn't immediately recognize All in all I highly recommend this history At the very least read the introduction the capsules and the last two or three chapters

  10. Kinga Kinga says:

    45Ahh After six months though really two intense months of reading I've finally finished this monster of a book I'm not saying that in uality only in the size of the book The content itself was actually really enjoyable Norman Davies divides his chapters between the the ideas and events that take place in the continent during each respective era He shows how things that happen to one state or part of Europe can have immense effect on another area I really enjoyed getting the broader picture which showed the inter connectivity which allowed me to grasp the fact that many different things happens simultaneously that I probably never would have considered otherwise Sometimes it's difficult to get that from a book that has a much narrower focusTrue to his word Davies strives to give the lesser known areas the attention they deserve especially when it comes to the Eastern sideand even especially the Polish side This I don't really mind since it is an area of great interest to me though I feel the need to call the author out on it and compare him to a student who writes an essay and feels the need to include everything he knows on his subject of interest in order to add length or to show his niche expertise Again something I personally don't mind as a person with an interest in the country but I'm not sure how others without that mindset feelSince the book is older than I am it was interesting to see how Davies' predictions compared to how history really unfolded I personally would like to see an updated version which includes material up until my current present day but I doubt that will happenLong story short as any historian Norman Davies shows a certain bias however Europe does a great job of condensing a whole continent of history into one volume which is one of his goals if I remember the introduction alright The book's length should not discourage one from reading it as it is a great work and I will definitely be keeping it on my shelf to refer back to should I ever feel the need

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Europe A History[Read] ➪ Europe A History Author Norman Davies – Europe A History to dzieło o nieprzetłumaczalnym tytule który po polsku oddaje Europa Rozprawa historyka z historią to prawdziwe opus magnum Normana Davisa Od czasu ukazania się w październiku 1 Europe A History to dzieło o nieprzetłumaczalnym tytule który po polsku oddaje Europa Rozprawa historyka z historią to prawdziwe opus magnum Normana Davisa Od czasu ukazania się w październiku roku ten opasły tom sięgnął nakładu egz spotykając się z superlatywami ale także wywołując ożywione dyskusje i kontrowersje W zachodniej historiografii jest to bodaj pierwsza historia naprawdę całej Europy uwzględniająca dzieje jej kresów i prowincji tradycyjnie pomijanych przez dziejopisarzy Pozycja ta fascynuje czytelników którzy znajdą w niej znane już walory pisarstwa Daviesa literacki temperament rozległość zainteresowań Europe A PDF or poczucie humoru osobisty stosunek do tematu.

About the Author: Norman Davies

Professor Ivor Norman Richard Davies FBA FRHistS is a leading English historian of Welsh descent noted for his publications on the history of Europe Poland and the United Kingdom From Davies taught Polish history at the School of Slavonic and East European Studies SSEES of the University of London where he was professor from to Currently he is Supernumary Fellow at Wolfso.