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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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1771109,104 (3.66)1
Available in both one-volume and two-volume paperback editions, A History of Modern Europe presents a panoramic survey of modern Europe from the Renaissance to the present day. A single author lends a unified approach and consistent style throughout, with an emphasis on the connections of events and people over time. The Third Edition, like the two before it, is authoritative and up-to-date. New to the Third Edition is the theme of empire. From the imperial rivalries between France and Spain in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, through the rise and fall of the Ottoman Turkish empire, and on into the imperial history of the twentieth century--decolonization, the spread of the Soviet empire, and the imperial power of the United States--the theme of empire helps students find commonalities among the events of European history.… (more)

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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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