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To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 by Ian…
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To Hell and Back: Europe 1914-1949 (2015)

by Ian Kershaw

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I found this an excellent account of a pivotal moment of history. It relates not only the events but the underlying economic and ideological factors that influenced them. So why only 4 stars? Well, it's the prose. Long, compound sentences, paragraphs that start with one subject and end in another, and some (I thought) dodgy punctuation made this a more difficult read at times than it needed to be. The content of the book is great, but the prose sometimes required that I reread a sentence or a paragraph to catch its meaning. Still, a great follow on to The Pursuit of Power by Richard J. Evans. ( )
  DLMorrese | Aug 23, 2017 |
5380.To Hell and Back Europe, 1914-1949, by Ian Kershaw (read 9 June 2016) This is a masterful work, telling of Europe from 1914 to 1949. There are no footnotes, though there is a 28 page bibliography. Much attention is paid to the time between the world wars, and the events after World War One, when the U.S. stupidly decided we need pay little attention to what was going on in Europe, are lucidly accounted and one sees how unwise the decision of the U.S. to ignore what was going on in Europe was. The contrast after World War Two is striking and the fact that we remained fully engaged in Europe is shown to be the correct course. One can be glad that the short-sighted policy people like Senator Taft urged did not prevail. Most of what the author indicates his opinion is are seen to have been correct. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jun 9, 2016 |
A wonderful book. Kershaw spends many pages at the end of the book in discussing the political shifts in postwar Europe. For the first time ever, I know that a Christian Democrat is a conservative, and I also know why astute historians like Eric Hobsbawm were Communists. The only country capable of rooting out the Nazis was Soviet Russia, and Hobsbawm was attracted to the party early on. He comments on the differences between the first and second world wars brilliantly, saying that at the end of WWi there was a set up for a new war already, because the
stab in the back theory was adopted by the Nazis and they rode it to victory. Hitler's immediate crushing of opposition despite his narrow victory in the polls was of key importance. ( )
  annbury | Jan 5, 2016 |
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De Europese twintigste eeuw was er een van oorlogen.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0670024589, Hardcover)

The Penguin History of Europe series reaches the twentieth century with acclaimed scholar Ian Kershaw’s long-anticipated analysis of the pivotal years of World War I and World War II
 
The European catastrophe, the long continuous period from 1914 to1949, was unprecedented in human history—an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation. This new volume in the Penguin History of Europe series offers comprehensive coverage of this tumultuous era. Beginning with the outbreak of World War I through the rise of Hitler and the aftermath of the Second World War, award-winning British historian Ian Kershaw combines his characteristic original scholarship and gripping prose as he profiles the key decision makers and the violent shocks of war as they affected the entire European continent and radically altered the course of European history. Kershaw identifies four major causes for this catastrophe: an explosion of ethnic-racist nationalism, bitter and irreconcilable demands for territorial revisionism, acute class conflict given concrete focus through the Bolshevik Revolution, and a protracted crisis of capitalism.
 
Incisive, brilliantly written, and filled with penetrating insights, To Hell and Back offers an indispensable study of a period in European history whose effects are still being felt today. 

(retrieved from Amazon Sat, 18 Jul 2015 19:54:27 -0400)

"The Penguin History of Europe series reaches the twentieth century with ... Ian Kershaw's long-anticipated analysis of the pivotal years of World War I and World War II. The European catastrophe, the long continuous period from 1914 to 1949, was unprecedented in human history-- an extraordinarily dramatic, often traumatic, and endlessly fascinating period of upheaval and transformation. This new volume in the ... series offers comprehensive coverage of this tumultuous era. Beginning with the outbreak of World War I through the rise of Hitler and the aftermath of the Second World War, [the author] profiles the key decision makers and the violent shocks of war as they affected the entire European continent and radically altered the course of European history. Kershaw identifies four major causes for this catastrophe: an explosion of ethnic-racist nationalism, bitter and irreconcilable demands for territorial revisionism, acute class conflict given concrete focus through the Bolshevik Revolution, and a protracted crisis of capitalism. [This book] offers [a] study of a period in European history whose effects are still being felt today"--Amazon.com.… (more)

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