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In Europa reizen door de twintigste eeuw by…

In Europa reizen door de twintigste eeuw (edition 2007)

by Geert Mak

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1,265376,244 (4.25)53
Title:In Europa reizen door de twintigste eeuw
Authors:Geert Mak
Info:Amsterdam Atlas 2007
Collections:Your library
Tags:12 in 12 challenge, non-fiction, Europe, history, Jews, the East, snapshots

Work details

In Europe: Travels Through the Twentieth Century by Geert Mak

  1. 10
    Reappraisals: Reflections on the Forgotten Twentieth Century by Tony Judt (marieke54)
  2. 10
    Postwar: A History of Europe since 1945 by Tony Judt (marieke54)
  3. 00
    Des gens très bien by Alexandre Jardin (jodocus)
    jodocus: Voor wie zich -net als Mak- afvraagt hoe het kan dat Frankrijk, met zijn Vichy-verleden- alom als overwinnaar en "goed" in de oorlog wordt gezien. Jardin beschrijft hoe hij de (familie)mythe rond zijn grootvader, een hoge Vichy-ambtenaar, voor zichzelf ontmaskert.… (more)
  4. 00
    Dark Continent: Europe's Twentieth Century by Mark Mazower (marieke54)
  5. 00
    The Vertigo Years: Europe, 1900-1914 by Philipp Blom (gust)
  6. 00
    De passage naar Europa geschiedenis van een begin by Luuk van Middelaar (gust)
  7. 00
    Europeana: A Brief History of the Twentieth Century by Patrik Ouředník (gust)

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» See also 53 mentions

English (22)  Dutch (14)  French (1)  All (37)
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Mak travels around Europe on the cusp of the twenty-first century, reporting a century's worth of history. A fine piece of travel writing matched to an even better set of historical essays. ( )
  soylentgreen23 | Jul 3, 2016 |
The personal anecdotes were beautiful. If individual lives are not what history truly is about, then I don't know what history is. ( )
  danlai | Sep 1, 2014 |
Recommended for everybody interested in Europe ( )
  hste2011 | May 17, 2014 |
This is an awe-inspiring book. The author spent 1999 traveling around Europe looking to understand and tell its common history. What does someone from Stockholm have in common with someone from rural Poland, or the coast of Portugal? Beginning in Amsterdam at the dawn of the twentieth century, and winding up in December of 1999 in Sarajevo, Mak draws together the disparate threads of each country's history, into a broad picture of what has made Europe what it is today. I loved this massive book. It pulled together all those bits and pieces I've acquired through the years, from classes, newspapers, articles and books, and showed me where they belongs in the bigger picture.

Mak travels from place to place, centering each chapter on both a location and an event from the twentieth century. He talks to and looks at both ordinary people and those at the center of great events. He looks at how an event is both influenced by what had happened before and how it, in turn, shapes what occurs later. He looks at those obvious pivotal moments, like those fatal shots fired by Gavrilo Princip on the quayside in Sarajevo, as well as more obscure things like what happened to Jean McConville of West Belfast. The great moments are made personal by telling the story of someone caught up in it all, whether the son of a former ruler or a young mother trying to keep her family safe.

I had to read this book slowly. It is thick with connections and how the hurried decisions of a government can affect the lives of ordinary people forever. It was also an emotionally wrenching book. I'm not sure how he did it, but Mak managed to make both troop movements and strategical decisions intertwine with how that would have been experienced by an ordinary soldier or a civilian watching his house burn.

Geert Mak is Dutch, and so a little removed from the patriotic tales woven into the lives of the citizens of great powers. He was able to look at one side of a conflict then drive on a few miles and look at that conflict from the other side. He doesn't look to find bad guys or good guys, but to find out why people acted as they did, on imperfect information influenced by their own histories.

I'm a little sorry I've finally finished On Europe, but I'm looking forward to deepening my understanding of Europe's last century as well as someday rereading this book. ( )
9 vote RidgewayGirl | Dec 4, 2013 |
Stylish, intelligent, thoughtful, cleverly organised, and eminently readable. In 800 pages, even though he's mostly going over very familiar ground, he never stops being interesting and engaging: the mix of travel and history works very well.

On the other hand, this is an unremittingly negative, pessimistic view of European history in the 20th century. Basically, the bad stuff gets 797 pages and the positive 3. And even there he is inclined to quibble whether they really count as positive things. It's an understandable approach: after all, we Europeans have done a lot of unspeakable things to each other in the course of the century (Mak doesn't even discuss the terrible things Europeans did to people outside Europe). In a book like this, you have to deal with war, genocide, deportation and all the rest. But I wonder if it's really necessary to deal with it to the exclusion of all else? ( )
  thorold | May 26, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
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Geert Makprimary authorall editionscalculated
Garrett, SamTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap, HesterIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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A man sets out to chart the world.  Through the years, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, tools, stars, horses and people.  Shortly before his death he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the images of his own face.  
- Jorge Luis Borges
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When I left Amsterdam on Monday morning 4th January 1999, a storm was rampaging through the town.
Prologue:  No one in the village had ever seen the sea - except for the Dutch people.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
Het langverwachte, nieuwe boek (meer dan duizend pagina's!) van de auteur van de bestsellers Hoe God verdween uit Jorwert en De eeuw van mijn vader. Geert Mak vertelt over 'In Europa':
'Begin 1999 verliet ik Amsterdam voor een reis door Europa die een vol jaar zou duren. Het was een soort laatste inspectie: hoe lag het continent erbij, aan het eind van de twintigste eeuw?
Maar het was ook een historische reis; ik volgde letterlijk de sporen van de geschiedenis, door de eeuw en door het continent, beginnend in januari, bij de resten van de Parijse Wereldtentoonstelling en het bruisende Wenen, eindigend in december, in de ruïnes van Sarajevo.
Dat hele jaar reisde ik zo met de eeuw mee, in een krakeling van routes, langs Londen, Volgograd en Madrid, langs de bunkers van Berlijn, de geparfumeerde kleerkasten van Helena Ceausescu in Boekarest en de speelgoedautos in een verlaten crèche in Tsernobyl.
En ik praatte met de getuigen: met schrijvers en politici, met verzetsmensen en hoge officieren, met een boer in de Pyreneeën en met de kleinzoon van de Duitse keizer, tientallen Europeanen die hun verhaal op tafel legden.
Dit reisverslag gaat over het verleden, en wat het verleden met ons doet. Het gaat over verscheurdheid en onwetendheid, over historie en angst, over armoede en hoop, over alles wat ons nieuwe Europa scheidt en bindt
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0307280578, Paperback)

From the First World War to the waning days of the Cold War, a poignant exploration on what it means to be European at the end of the twentieth-century. Geert Mak crisscrosses Europe from Verdun to Berlin, Saint Petersburg to Srebrenica in search of evidence and witnesses of the last hundred years of Europe. Using his skills as an acclaimed journalist, Mak locates the smaller, personal stories within the epic arc of history-talking to a former ticket-taker at the gates of the Birkenau concentration camp or noting the neat rows of tiny shoes in the abandoned nursery school in the shadow of Chernobyl. His unique approach makes the reader an eyewitness to a half-forgotten past, full of unknown peculiarities, sudden insights and touching encounters. Sweeping in scale, but intimate in detail In Europe is a masterpiece.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 17:57:44 -0400)

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Journalist Mak spent the year of 1999 criss-crossing the continent, tracing the history of Europe from Verdun to Berlin, Saint Petersburg to Auschwitz, Kiev to Srebrenica, looking to define the condition of Europe on the cusp of a new millennium. In the voices of prominent figures and unknown players, Mak combines the larger story of twentieth-century Europe with details that give it a face, a taste and a smell.--From publisher description.… (more)

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