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A History of Modern Europe, Second Edition:…
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A History of Modern Europe, Second Edition: From the Renaissance to the…

by John M. Merriman

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Oh god I finished. I read every page. Every, single, page.

Just give me a moment... I'll be okay...

okay... let's get started.

Well the book is high on information content but the writing itself is pretty poor, and quite a chore to slog through. The author has a weird habit of repeating words within a single sentence... something like: 'the german states... of the german states... than were in the german states...' I won't cite specifics, you see it nearly every other page and I think it helps emphasize one of the book's enduring themes: that of montonony.

The writing is also peppered with a fair number of complete non-sequitors, whose addition, I suppose, goes a long way to explaining the book's fairly weighty price tag. Facts get inserted into paragraphs on completely unrelated topics and introductory sentences sometimes have little bearing on what follows.. though this probably doesn't happen as often I think it does... it just leaves such an indelible impression when it does.

Now and then events are referenced completely out of order, giving things a sense of causation and direction that couldn't possibly haved existed. And some sentences even seem to directly contradict each other.. such as indicating that an overall economic trend was positive... yet continued to decline?

Still, if you continue to hit the book against your face for a few pages every day, you'll probably end up knowing a lot more about Europe than when you started out. You could probably also buy four other books for the same price, order a pizza, and end up knowing more. ( )
  the_lemur | Nov 9, 2017 |
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For Laura Merriman and Christopher Merriman
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The French Revolution of 1789 struck the first solid blow in continental Western Europe against monarchical absolutism on behalf of popular sovereignty.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0393968855, Paperback)

This history of Europe since the Renaissance emphasizes not only cultural and social history, but also examines important political and diplomatic events. Major themes covered include the social bases of politics, the rise of the modern state, and relations between the different social classes.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:07:38 -0400)

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